Rodriguez v. Sanchez et al

Filing 28

ORDER by Judge Richard Seeborg granting 15 Motion for Summary Judgment. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/29/2014)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 PEDRO RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 15 ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT CHRIS SANCHEZ, 16 No. C 14-0062 RS Defendants. ____________________________________/ 17 Plaintiff Pedro Rodriguez, appearing in pro per, filed this action on January 6, 2014, against 18 19 Chris Sanchez, a deputy probation officer employed by the San Mateo County Probation 20 Department.1 Rodriguez alleged that Officer Sanchez violated his constitutional rights by 21 purportedly changing the conditions of his prison release from “O.R.” to “Supervised O.R.” without 22 authority and in disregard of due process. On January 13, 2014, the California Court of Appeal that 23 had ordered Rodriguez’s release in the first instance issued a decision confirming that he was 24 1 25 26 27 28 The caption of the complaint refers to “Redwood City Adult Probation, Municipality of Redwood City.” These terms appear intended merely to identify Officer Sanchez, as the caption refers to “defendant” in the singular, and the body of the complaint does not identify any other defendants. The listing of “Redwood City Adult Probation” and “Municipality of Redwood City” in the Court’s docket as separate defendants is therefore erroneous, and will be disregarded. Additionally, even assuming Rodriguez intended to name additional entities as defendants, the claims would fail for the same reasons set forth in this order. Accordingly, this ruling disposes of the case in its entirety. 1 subject to post-release supervision. Rodriguez nevertheless contends he is entitled to maintain this 2 action on the theory that between the time he was released on December 24, 2013, and the appellate 3 court’s ruling on January 13, 2014, Officer Sanchez could not “change” the terms of his release on 4 his “own authority.” 5 The undisputed facts show that Officer Sanchez is entitled to summary judgment for at least 6 two reasons. First, and most fundamentally, Officer Sanchez did nothing to “change” the terms of 7 Rodriguez’s release. The appellate court’s original order directing the release was silent as to 8 whether Rodriguez would be subject to supervision, stating only that he was to be released “on his 9 own recognizance.” See Order dated December 16, 2013, RJN Exh. A. California law, however, provided that under the circumstances, Rodriguez was subject to post-release community 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 supervision (PRCS). Cal. Penal Code §§ 3450, et seq. The fact that the PRCS condition was not 12 expressly mentioned in the appellate court’s December 16th order did not exempt Rodriguez from 13 its applicability. 14 Indeed, the appellate court’s January 13, 2014 order confirmed exactly that principle, stating, 15 “Rodriguez is a person released from prison after serving a prison term for a felony. He is therefore 16 subject to supervision by state and/or county authorities. (See e.g., Pen. Code, § 3450 et seq.)” RJN 17 Exh D (emphasis added). Rodriguez misconstrues the January 13th order as having imposed a 18 supervision requirement for the first time. In fact, the order merely explained that Rodriguez’s 19 motion for injunctive relief in that court was without merit because he already was subject to 20 supervision under California law, and not as the result of any unauthorized “change” by Officer 21 Sanchez. 22 Rodriguez appears to contend that because his appeal remained pending and his underlying 23 conviction remained subject to possible reversal, PRCS conditions could not apply. The appellate 24 court’s January 13th order, however, effectively rejects any such interpretation of California law. 25 While Rodriguez also suggests that order was erroneous, the court’s application of California law is 26 not subject to collateral attack in a proceeding such as this. See Reusser v. Wachovia Bank, 525 27 F.3d 855, 859 (9th Cir. 2008) (The Rooker-Feldman doctrine “prohibits a federal district court from 28 exercising subject matter jurisdiction over a suit that is a de facto appeal from a state court 2 1 judgment.”)(citation and quotations omitted); see D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 2 482-86 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415-16 (1923). 3 Second, Officer Sanchez plainly would be entitled to qualified immunity in any event. At 4 the very most, the original release order was ambiguous as to whether a supervision condition 5 applied, and Officer Sanchez reasonably concluded that it did, under the terms of the Penal Code. 6 In opposing summary judgment, Rodriguez argues the motion misstates the status of the 7 state court criminal appeal and he complains of various other alleged improprieties in the underlying 8 trial and sentencing. Rodriquez offers nothing, however, to dispute any of the material facts as 9 discussed herein. Accordingly, the motion for summary judgment must be, and is, granted. A separate judgment will enter. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 15 16 17 Dated: 4/29/14 RICHARD SEEBORG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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