Guillen et al v. Callaghan et al
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 16 in full. Claims against Defendants Baker, Community Medical Center, and the Montana Department of Child and Family Services asserted in Guillen's Amended Complaint, 7 , are hereby DISMISSED. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 1/6/2014. Mailed to Guillen. (TAG, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
JAN 06 201+
CieI1c, t.J S D'
OiStriCt Of Istrict Co
ALBERTO GUILLEN and (e.g.
BACKER, THE DEPARTMENT OF
CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES,
and COMMUNITY MEDICAL
This matter comes before the Court on the Findings and Recommendations
of United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch. (Doc. 16.) Plaintiff is a
prisoner proceeding without counsel. (Doc. 5 at 2.) His Complaint alleges that
Defendants acted improperly in the care they provided for his infant daughter after
she was born in November 2010. (Doc. 2.) Guillen purports to bring this action
on his own behalf and on behalf of his daughter, S.B.S.G. (Id. at 3.) Guillen is the
sole party in this action, however, because a litigant proceeding pro se cannot
represent any other party, even a minor child. Johns v. County ofSan Diego, 114
F.3d 874, 877 (9th Cir. 1977).
Guillen moved the Court for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 1.)
Judge Lynch found that Guillen's declaration and account statement met the
requirements set forth at 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) and granted Plaintiffs request.
(Doc. 5 at 1-2, 15.) Guillen moved for appointment of counsel. (Doc. 3.) Judge
Lynch found appointment of counsel not warranted and denied Plaintiff's request.
(Doc. 5 at 12-13, 16.) After screening Guillen's Complaint under the process
defined at 28 U.S.C. § 1915, Judge Lynch found that Plaintiffs complaint failed to
state a claim upon which relief might be granted and gave Guillen an opportunity
to file an amended complaint. (Id. at 6-11, 13-15.)
Guillen details allegations regarding the removal of his infant daughter from
his custody in his Amended Complaint. (Doc. 7.) Judge Lynch's review ofthe
Amended Complaint reveals that the facts alleged arguably present a claim for
relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of due process of law. (Doc. 16 at 5
6.) The facts alleged surrounding the removal of Guillen's daughter from his
custody fonn the basis ofthis claim. (Id.) This claim is only potentially viable as
to Defendants Courtney Callaghan and Patrick Shanon, however. (Id. at 5-6.)
Judge Lynch ordered the Amended Complaint be served on these Defendants. (Id.
Judge Lynch finds that Plaintiff's claim against Defendants Boby Baker and
Community Medical Center fails to state a claim on which relief might be granted
because these Defendants are not state actors and it is not alleged that they were
acting under color of state law. (Id. at 4-5.) Judge Lynch further finds that
Plaintiff s claim against Defendant Montana Department of Child and Family
Services is not viable because the department is entitled to Eleventh Amendment
immunity. (Id. at 6-8.) Judge Lynch accordingly recommends that claims against
Defendants Baker, Community Medical Center, and the Montana Department of
Child and Family Services be dismissed. (Id. at 11.) Judge Lynch also
recommends dismissal of any claim that seeks release from prison or challenges
Guillen's conviction, pursuant to the doctrine set forth in Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. 477,486-87 (1994). (Id. at 3-4, 11-12.)
Plaintiff timely filed Objections to Judge Lynch's Findings and
Recommendations. (Doc. 17.) When a party objects to any portion of Findings
and Recommendations issued by a Magistrate Judge, the district court must make
a de novo determination of that portion of the Magistrate Judge's report. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach. Inc.,
656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir.1981). The Court has considered the arguments
presented in Guillen's Objections and conducted ade novo review of Judge
Lynch's Findings and Recommendations. Guillen's objections are without merit;
the Findings and Recommendations are well-founded and accordingly adopted in
Guillen first objects to the determination that dismissal of private party
Defendants Boby Baker and Community Medical Center is appropriate because
they are not state actors and are not alleged to have acted under color of state law.
(Doc. 17 at 1.) Guillen asserts that these parties "were involved in causing the
false information to get into the dependency petition" and therefore acted under
color of state law. (Jd.) This assertion does not rejoin the authority cited by Judge
Lynch in support of his conclusion that the acts of Defendants Baker and
Community Medical Center are not fairly attributable to the state. (See Doc. 16 at
4-5.) No new facts are included in Guillen's Objections to disturb Judge Lynch's
recommendation that these Defendants be dismissed. After de novo review, the
Court finds Defendants Baker and Community Medical Center did not act under
color of state law and Guillen's claims against them are accordingly dismissed.
In his Objections, Guillen again asserts claims related to the termination of
his parental rights. (Doc. 17 at 2-3.) These claims are not responsive to Judge
Lynch's Findings and Recommendations. While this material may be relevant to
Guillen's continued pursuit of this matter against Defendants Courtney Callaghan
and Patrick Shanon, these objections fail to rejoin the arguments and conclusions
presented in the Findings and Recommendations now before the Court and are
otherwise without merit.
IT IS ORDERED that the Findings and Recommendations of United States
Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, (Doc. 17), are ADOPTED IN FULL.
Claims against Defendants Baker, Community Medical Center, and the Montana
Department of Child and Family Services asserted in Guillen's Amended
Complaint, (Doc. 7), are hereby DISNlISSED.
DATED this ~ day of January, 2014.
Hoy, District Judge
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