Steward v. Thumser et al

Filing 50

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman on 3/7/2018 CONSTRUING 49 Motion as a request for clarification of the 2/15/2018 reassignment order. Plaintiff's request for an investigation is denied. (Henshaw, R)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 DONNY STEWARD, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:16-cv-1232 TLN KJN P Plaintiff, v. ORDER G. THUMSER, et al., Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed this civil rights action seeking relief 18 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 19 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. 20 On February 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a document entitled, “Motion for a More Definite 21 Statement.” (ECF No. 49.) Despite such title, plaintiff complains that his case was suddenly and 22 without notice assigned to a different district judge, and that the reassignment order used a 23 different case caption, suggesting that there has been “an inadvertent oversight” or a violation of 24 plaintiff’s due process rights by the removal of the warden from this case. Plaintiff contends that 25 the order of reassignment “demands an investigation.” (ECF No. 49 at 3.) 26 Under Rule 12(e), a party may move for a more definite statement with respect to a 27 complaint that “is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response.” 28 Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e); see also Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002) (stating 1 1 that, “[i]f a pleading fails to specify the allegations in a manner that provides sufficient notice, a 2 defendant can move for a more definite statement under Rule 12(e) before responding”). Motions 3 pursuant to Rule 12(e) are generally “viewed with disfavor and are rarely granted[.]” E.E.O.C. v. 4 Alia Corp., 842 F. Supp. 2d 1243, 1250 (E.D. Cal. 2012). 5 Plaintiff’s concerns are not directed to a pleading filed by any defendant, and therefore is 6 not properly a motion for more definite statement. Rather, plaintiff is concerned about the 7 February 15, 2018 reassignment of his case to a different district judge by Chief Judge O’Neill, 8 and is therefore construed as a request for clarification. However, as the order of reassignment 9 indicated, the reassignment of plaintiff’s case was due to Judge Burrell taking senior status. Such 10 reassignment was among many other random reassignments due to the reduction in Judge 11 Burrell’s caseload. Such order of reassignment, including whether or not the reassignment order 12 was properly captioned, has no bearing on the merits of plaintiff’s case. Rather, this action 13 proceeds according to the court’s screening order which found that plaintiff’s second amended 14 complaint states potentially cognizable Eighth Amendment claims for relief against defendants 15 Olson, Harrison, Pompey, Tapiz, and Jones pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. 16 § 1915A(b). (ECF No. 20.) 17 18 As noted by plaintiff, the instant action is stayed, and plaintiff shall refrain from filing any further motions pending completion of the March 13, 2018 settlement conference. 19 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 20 1. Plaintiff’s motion (ECF No. 49) is construed as a request for clarification of the 21 22 23 February 15, 2018 reassignment order; and 2. Plaintiff’s request for an investigation is denied. Dated: March 7, 2018 24 25 26 /stew1232.inf 27 28 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?