Roberts v. Hensley et al

Filing 56

ORDER granting unopposed motion to stay all proceedings pending plaintiff's discharge from acute psychiatric hospitalization and treatment 55 . The Court stays the action until June 30, 2017. Plaintiff must file a report as to his medical status on or before July 1, 2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major on 3/13/17. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(kas)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 TONY ROBERTS, Case No.: 15cv1871-LAB (BLM) Plaintiff, 12 ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTION TO STAY ALL PROCEEDINGS PENDING PLAINTIFF’S DISCHARGE FROM ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALIZATION AND TREATMENT v. 13 14 S. HENSLEY, et al., Defendants. 15 [ECF No. 55] 16 17 18 19 20 21 On March 3, 2017, the Court accepted on discrepancy a “Motion for Permission to Act as 22 ‘Next of Friend,’ or Alternatively, for Court to Act on its Own, and Stay all Proceedings Pending 1 15cv1871-LAB (BLM) 1 Mr. Roberts[’] Discharge from Acute Psychiatric Hospitalization and Treatment.” ECF Nos. 54 & 2 55. The motion was signed by Tommy Boyden, appearing “Next of Friend” on behalf of Plaintiff 3 Tony Roberts on February 23, 2017. ECF No. 55 at 2. Defendants have not opposed the instant 4 motion. See Docket. For the reasons outlined below, the Court GRANTS a limited stay of the 5 entire action. 6 FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND 7 On August 21, 2015, Plaintiff, a prisoner incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan 8 Correctional Facility (“RJD”) proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, commenced this action 9 by filing a Complaint alleging civil rights violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF 10 No. 1. After Defendants filed a motion to dismiss part of Plaintiff’s Complaint and Plaintiff filed 11 a notice of non-opposition [see ECF Nos. 22, 30], on July 21, 2016, the District Judge granted 12 Defendants’ motion. ECF No. 31. On July 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint 13 (“FAC”), the operative pleading in this case. ECF No. 32. Plaintiff alleges in his FAC that 14 Defendants, various dental officials employed at the California Men’s Colony (“CMC”) and RJD, 15 were aware of his serious dental needs but “delayed providing dental treatment for 16 approximately 48 months or more.” See id. at 2-3. Plaintiff claims that as a result, he developed 17 a total of twenty-seven cavities, toothaches, headaches, mouth lesions, gum disease, and 18 periodontal disease, which exposed him “to a serious risk for heart disease.” See ECF No. 31. 19 On August 11, 2016, Defendants answered Plaintiff’s FAC, and on August 16, 2016, the Court 20 issued a Scheduling Order Regulating Discovery and Other Pre-Trial Proceedings. ECF Nos. 33 21 & 34. 22 2 15cv1871-LAB (BLM) 1 DISCUSSION 2 In the instant motion, Mr. Boyden, on behalf of Plaintiff Roberts, asks the Court to stay 3 the proceedings for four to five months or until Plaintiff’s discharge from acute care and 4 treatment. ECF No. 55 at 3, 7. In support, Mr. Boyden declares that on February 20, 2017, 5 Plaintiff Roberts “was admitted for psychiatric hospitalization for . . . treatment for suicidal 6 ideations, and psychic features associated with auditory hallucinations.” Id., Exh. A, Declaration 7 of Tommy D. Boyden (“Boyden Decl.”) at 9. Mr. Boyden further claims that Plaintiff is not able 8 to draft documents, conduct legal research, file pleadings, or respond to the Court’s orders in 9 light of his hospitalization and ongoing treatment, and argues that Plaintiff’s condition renders 10 Plaintiff incapable of protecting his interests and prosecuting his lawsuit at this time. See id. at 11 10; see also ECF No. 55 at 2. Mr. Boyden also contends that the length of the requested stay 12 is minimal, and that if the stay is not granted, the parties’ time and resources would be wasted 13 because Plaintiff “would be unable to assert his rights during the current period and would 14 require revisiting issues that could be addressed in the first instance after the stay.” ECF No. 55 15 at 6. 16 A district court has discretionary power to “stay proceedings as an incident to its power 17 to control its own docket.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706 (1997) (citing Landis v. North 18 American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936)). In determining whether to grant a motion to stay, 19 “the competing interests which will be affected by the granting or refusal to grant a stay must 20 be weighed.” Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir. 2005). These interests 21 include: (1) the possible damage which may result from the granting of a stay, (2) the hardship 22 or inequity which a party may suffer in being required to go forward, and (3) the orderly course 3 15cv1871-LAB (BLM) 1 of justice measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions 2 of law which could be expected to result from a stay. Id. “[S]tays should not be indefinite in 3 nature,” and in considering a stay order, the court should “balance the length of any stay against 4 the strength of the justification given for it.” See Dependable Highway Exp., Inc. v. Navigators 5 Ins. Co., 498 F.3d 1059, 1066 (9th Cir. 2007); Young v. I.N.S., 208 F.3d 1116, 1119 (9th Cir. 6 2000). “The proponent of a stay bears the burden of establishing its need.” Clinton, 520 U.S. 7 at 709. 8 In balancing the competing interests of the parties, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has 9 established that his medical condition and hospitalization render him unable to prosecute his 10 case at this time, and that the requested stay is warranted. Having consulted with the Chambers 11 of District Judge Larry A. Burns, the court GRANTS the unopposed motion to stay all 12 proceedings pending Plaintiff’s discharge from acute psychiatric hospitalization. Accordingly, the 13 Court stays the action until June 30, 2017. Plaintiff must file a report as to his medical status 14 on or before July 1, 2017. 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 17 Dated: 3/13/2017 18 19 20 21 22 4 15cv1871-LAB (BLM)

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