Davis v. Santa Rita Jail et al

Filing 25

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen (1) Granting 19 Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint; (2) Denying 15 Defendants' Motion to Dismiss; and (3) Denying 14 Plaintiff's "Motion to Re-Enter Claim." Plaintiff is required to E-FILE the amended document (Amended Complaint) by 08/27/2014. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service). (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/6/2014)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 MICHAEL C. DAVIS, 9 Plaintiff, v. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 SANTA RITA JAIL, et al., 12 Defendants. ___________________________________/ 13 No. C-14-1468 EMC ORDER (1) GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT; (2) DENYING AS MOOT DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS; AND (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF’S “MOTION TO RE-ENTER CLAIM” (Docket Nos. 14-15, 19) 14 15 16 Currently pending before the Court is (1) Defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, see 17 Docket No. 15; (2) Plaintiff’s motion to amend his complaint to allege cruel and unusual 18 punishment, see Docket No. 19; and (3) Plaintiff’s “motion to re-enter claim,” see Docket No. 14. 19 The Court finds this matter suitable for disposition without oral argument and VACATES the 20 hearing set for August 14, 2014. Having reviewed the papers, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s 21 motion to amend the complaint; DENIES Defendants’ pending motion to dismiss as moot; and 22 DENIES Plaintiff’s motion to re-enter claim. 23 A. 24 Legal Standard Under Rule 15, a plaintiff may amend his complaint as a matter of course within 21 days 25 after the service of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1)(B). 26 Otherwise, leave to amend is within the discretion of the district court. See United States v. Webb, 27 655 F.2d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1981). Rule 15’s purpose of facilitating “decision on the merits” should 28 1 guide the court in the exercise of its discretion. Id. As a result, “Rule 15’s policy of favoring 2 amendments to pleadings should be applied with extreme liberality.” Id. (citation omitted). 3 B. 4 Leave to Amend In this case, Defendants filed their motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b) and Rule 12(e) on 5 June 19, 2014. See Docket No. 15. Plaintiff filed his motion to amend 18 days later on July 7, 6 2014. See Docket No. 19. Defendants Santa Rita Jail and Alameda Country argue that Plaintiff has 7 waived his right to amend and that amendment should be disallowed as futile or subject to dismissal. 8 Defendants contend that amendment would be futile, because Plaintiff does not state that he was a 9 prisoner who was tried and convicted and therefore cannot state a claim under the Eighth Amendment. See Docket No. 22, ¶. 3-4. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 In general, “[c]laims by pretrial detainees are analyzed under the Fourteenth Amendment 12 Due Process Clause, rather than under the Eighth Amendment.” See Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 13 1128 (9th Cir. 1998). The protections of the due process clause are broader than those of the Eighth 14 Amendment, but encompass and are guided by standards governing prisoners’ Eighth Amendment 15 rights, including rights regarding medical care. See Carnell v. Grimm, 74 F.3d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 16 1996) (observing that “the eighth amendment guarantees provide a minimum standard of care for 17 determining a prisoner’s rights as a pretrial detainee”) (citation omitted; emphasis in original). 18 In the case at bar, it does not appear futile for Mr. Davis to state a claim under the Fourteenth 19 Amendment that relies on standards of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. 20 See Carnell, 74 F.3d at 979. Thus, allowing Mr. Davis to amend would serve Rule 15’s purpose of 21 facilitating decision on the merits. Mr. Davis’s request for leave to amend his complaint is 22 GRANTED. In light of Mr. Davis’s intent to file a superseding amended complaint, Defendants’ 23 motion to dismiss the complaint is DENIED as moot. 24 C. 25 Compliance with Rules Defendants have also objected to Plaintiff’s failure to present a complete amended pleading 26 per local rules. See Civ. L. R. 10-1. In light of Defendants’ concerns regarding form, Plaintiff is 27 ordered to file an amended complaint, i.e., not just an amendment, by August 27, 2014. Plaintiff is 28 2 1 reminded to follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to observe local court rules in his 2 filings.1 Mr. Davis is encouraged to contact the Legal Help Center at (415) 782-8982 for advice. 3 D. 4 Re-Entry of Claim Form Plaintiff has separately filed a motion seeking to re-enter his claim presentation form in an 5 amount higher than the amount he previously submitted on his claim presentation form. As an 6 initial matter, such forms address claim presentation requirements under the California Tort Claims 7 Act. The Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court have held that these presentation 8 requirements do not apply to federal civil rights actions arising under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See May v. 9 Enomoto, 633 F.2d 164, 167 (9th Cir. 1980) (citing Williams v. Horvath, 16 Cal. 3d 834, 842, 548 P.2d 1125, 1130 (1976)). As Mr. Davis’s complaint stands, the only cause of action alleged is under 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Section 1983. Thus, it is not clear that the claim presentation form will be applicable to this case. 12 Moreover, if Mr. Davis intends to allege state tort claims, the proper recipient of the claim form is 13 identified on the form and the claim form need not be entered by the Court. As a result, the Court 14 has no jurisdiction over Mr. Davis’s claim form, and Mr. Davis’s motion to re-enter his claim is 15 DENIED. 16 17 18 The Case Management Conference scheduled for August 14, 2014 is CONTINUED to October 16, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. The parties shall file a Joint CMC Statement by October 9, 2014. This order disposes of Docket Nos. 14, 15, and 19. 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. 21 22 Dated: August 6, 2014 23 _________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 1 Such rules can be reviewed online at http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/rules. 3

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