Bowell v. CSP Substance Abuse Treatment Facility At Corcoran, et al.
ORDER Denying Objections; ORDER Denying 11 Motion for Stay of Proceedings signed by Chief Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 08/09/2011. Amended Complaint due by 9/12/2011.(Flores, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CASE NO. 1:10-CV-02336-AWI-DLB PC
ORDER DENYING OBJECTIONS
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR STAY OF
CALIFORNIA STATE SUBSTANCE ABUSE
TREATMENT FACILITY AT CORCORAN, (DOC. 11)
Plaintiff James Bowell (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner in the custody of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 15, 2010,
Plaintiff filed his complaint. On June 7, 2011, the Magistrate Judge assigned to this action
screened Plaintiff’s complaint and dismissed it for failure to state a claim with leave to amend.
Pending before the Court are: 1) Plaintiff’s objections to the magistrate judge’s order and 2)
Plaintiff’s motion for stay of the proceedings, filed June 16, 2011. Doc. 11.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72 governs magistrate judge jurisdiction. Rule 72(a)
states in pertinent part: “The district judge in the case must consider timely objections and
modify or set aside any part of the [magistrate judge’s] order that is clearly erroneous or is
contrary to law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a) (emphasis added); see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Under
the clearly erroneous standard of review, a district court may overturn a magistrate judge’s ruling
“‘only if the district court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
made.’” Computer Economics, Inc. v. Gartner Group, Inc., 50 F. Supp. 2d 980, 983 (S.D. Cal.
1999) (quoting Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co., Ltd., 126 F.3d 926, 943 (7th Cir. 1997)).
Under the contrary to law standard, a district court may conduct independent review of purely
legal determinations by a magistrate judge. Id.
Here, Plaintiff contends that his allegations are sufficient for medical malpractice.
Plaintiff alleges some sort of conspiracy by the magistrate judge regarding his order. Plaintiff
also seeks appointment of counsel.
Plaintiff’s arguments are without merit. Medical malpractice fails to state a cognizable
Section 1983 claim because medical malpractice does not violate the Constitution. See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (“[A] complaint that a physician has been negligent in
diagnosing or treating a medical condition does not state a valid claim of medical mistreatment
under the Eighth Amendment. Medical malpractice does not become a constitutional violation
merely because the victim is a prisoner.”). Additionally, the United States Magistrate Judge is
entitled to absolute judicial immunity from Section 1983 damages actions. Tanner v. Heise, 879
F.2d 572, 576-78 (9th Cir. 1989). The Court finds that the Magistrate Judge’s order was not
clearly erroneous or contrary to law.
Regarding a stay of the proceedings, Plaintiff contends that due to his incarceration, he is
unable to seek representation by a law firm or to find expert witnesses. Plaintiff requests a stay
for one year. Plaintiff currently fails to state a claim. Plaintiff’s incarceration is not good cause
to merit a stay of these proceedings. The Court will not grant a stay in this action.
Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s objections and motion to stay are
denied. Plaintiff is GRANTED thirty days in which to file an amended complaint as set forth in
the court’s June 7, 2011 order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
August 9, 2011
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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