(PS) Crocker v. County of Amador et al

Filing 44

ORDER signed by District Judge Daniel J. Calabretta on 7/3/2024 ADOPTING 42 Findings and Recommendations in part, GRANTING 35 Motion to Dismiss, and DISMISSING this case in its entirety with prejudice. CASE CLOSED. (Mendez Licea, O)

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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 BENJAMINE CROCKER, 12 Plaintiff, 13 v. No. 2:22-cv-1924-DJC-AC PS ORDER 14 COUNTY OF AMADOR, et al, 15 Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff is proceeding in this action in pro per and in forma pauperis. The 18 matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to Local Rule 19 302(c)(21). On February 7, 2024, the Magistrate Judge filed findings and 20 recommendations that were served on all parties and which contained notice to all 21 parties that any objections to the findings and recommendations were to be filed 22 within twenty-one days. (ECF No. 42.) Plaintiff has filed objections to the findings and 23 recommendations. (ECF No. 43.) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Local Rule 24 304, this Court has conducted a de novo review of this case. 25 The Court disagrees with the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that Plaintiff has 26 failed to plausibly establish excessive force. While the transcripts of the court 27 proceedings cited in the findings and recommendations establish the need for some 28 force based on Plaintiff’s refusal to comply with the court’s orders and to leave the 1 1 courtroom, they are not sufficient to establish that the amount of force used was 2 reasonable. A reasonable jury could conclude that despite needing to use some force 3 against Plaintiff, the force used in these circumstances — especially in light of Plaintiff’s 4 alleged recent shoulder surgery — was more than reasonably necessary to escort him 5 out of the courtroom. 6 However, the Magistrate Judge correctly found that Defendants are, 7 regardless, entitled to qualified immunity, and that the case must be dismissed. In 8 Brooks v. Clark County, the Ninth Circuit reiterated that it must be “beyond debate” 9 that a use of force was excessive to defeat qualified immunity. 828 F.3d 910, 921 (9th 10 Cir. 2016). A plaintiff “must not only allege that [the defendant] used an unreasonable 11 amount of force, but also that no reasonable officer could disagree that [the 12 defendant] used an unreasonable amount of force.” Id. at 922 (emphasis in original). 13 By this standard, the Ninth Circuit found that pushing the plaintiff through the doors of 14 a courtroom and causing injury was not indisputably excessive and unconstitutional. 15 Similarly, here, taking Plaintiff by the arms and pushing him through the courtroom 16 doors, even while his arm was in a sling, is not indisputably unreasonable. 17 The Court finds the remainder of the findings and recommendations to be 18 supported by the record and by proper analysis. 19 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 20 1. The findings and recommendations filed February 7, 2024, are adopted in 21 22 23 part; and 2. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 35, is GRANTED and this case is dismissed in its entirety with prejudice. 24 25 26 27 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 3, 2024 Hon. Daniel J. Calabretta UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 28 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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