Williams v. Alcala et al

Filing 24

ORDER ADOPTING 17 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND DISMISSING Certain Claims, signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 01/5/18. (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ROBERT C. WILLIAMS, 12 13 14 15 No. 1:17-cv-00916-DAD-SAB (PC) Plaintiff, v. GERARDO ALCALA, et al., Defendants. ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND DISMISSING CERTAIN CLAIMS (Doc. Nos. 1, 8, 10, 11, 17) 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Plaintiff Robert C. Williams is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of a United States 23 Magistrate Judge on August 14, 2017. Local Rule 302. To date, defendants have not consented 24 to or declined to consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction. 25 On August 22, 2017, the assigned magistrate judge screened plaintiff’s complaint and 26 found that it stated a cognizable claim for damages against defendants Alcala and Garza for the 27 use of excessive force but failed to state cognizable state law claims for assault and battery for 28 failure to comply with the California Tort Claims Act. (Doc. No. 8.) Plaintiff was directed to 1 1 either file a first amended complaint or notify the court of his intent to proceed only on the claims 2 found to be cognizable. (Id.) 3 On September 1, 2017, plaintiff notified the court of his intent to proceed only on the 4 claims found to be cognizable. (Doc. No. 10.) Therefore, September 6, 2017, the magistrate 5 judge found that service was appropriate as to plaintiff’s claims for monetary damages against 6 defendants Alcala and Garza on the use of excessive force claim. (Doc. No. 11.) The magistrate 7 judge dismissed all other claims for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. (Id.) In that 8 order the magistrate judge indicated that jurisdiction existed under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) based on 9 the fact that plaintiff had consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction and no other parties had yet 10 11 appeared in the action. (Id.) On November 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) 12 requires the consent of all named plaintiffs and defendants, even those not served with process, 13 before jurisdiction may vest in a magistrate judge to dispose of a civil case. Williams v. King, 875 14 F.3d 500, 504 (9th Cir. 2017). Accordingly, the magistrate judge lacked jurisdiction to dismiss 15 defendant Adams from the action by way of the September 6, 2017 order. Therefore, on 16 December 1, 2017, the magistrate judge issued findings and recommendations recommending that 17 this action proceed against defendants Alcala and Garza for excessive use of force and that 18 plaintiff’s state law claims and claim for declaratory relief be dismissed for failure to state a 19 cognizable claim for relief. Those findings and recommendations were served on the parties and 20 contained notice that objections were to be filed within fourteen days. 21 22 23 On December 15, 2017, defendants Alcala and Garza filed an answer to complaint. (Doc. No. 20.) On January 2, 2018, plaintiff filed objections to the December 1, 2017 findings and 24 recommendations. (Doc. No. 23.) In his objections, plaintiff contends that had he known the 25 case would have been assigned to a District Judge, he would have sought to further amend the 26 complaint. Plaintiff’s contention in this regard is unfounded. In the August 22, 2017, screening 27 order the magistrate judge found that plaintiff stated a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim for 28 excessive use of force against defendants Alcala and Garza, but failed to state a cognizable claim 2 1 for assault and battery under state law for failure to plead the necessary compliance with the 2 California Tort Claims Act. (Doc. No. 8.) Nothing in plaintiff’s objections demonstrates that he 3 is able to plead compliance with the California Tort Claims Act and he has failed to demonstrate 4 good cause to grant him leave to amend his complaint. (Doc. No. 23.) The mere fact that the 5 case is now assigned to a district judge for review does not demonstrate good cause to amend the 6 complaint. 7 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), the court has conducted a 8 de novo review of this case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, including plaintiff’s 9 objections, the court finds the findings and recommendations to be supported by the record and 10 by proper analysis. 11 Accordingly, 12 1. The December 1, 2017 findings and recommendations are adopted in full; 13 2. This action shall continue to proceed for monetary damages on plaintiff’s claim of 14 excessive use of force in violation of the Eighth Amendment against defendants 15 Alcala and Garza; and 16 3. Plaintiff’s state law claims of assault and battery and claim for declaratory relief are 17 18 19 dismissed from the action for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 5, 2018 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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