(PC) Bulkin v. Ochoa et al, No. 1:2013cv00388 - Document 68 (E.D. Cal. 2017)

Court Description: ORDER ADOPTING 66 Findings and Recommendations; ORDER DENYING 47 Motion for Summary Judgment filed on behalf of Defendants: Ochoa, Mares and Alvarez; CASE REFERRED back to the Magistrate Judge for further proceedings, signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 01/30/17. (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 KEITH BULKIN, 11 12 13 14 No. 1:13-cv-00388-DAD-EPG (PC) Plaintiff, v. ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS V. OCHOA, et al., (Doc. No. 66) Defendants. 15 16 Plaintiff Keith Bulkin is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this 17 civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on March 18, 18 2013. (Doc. No. 1.) This case is proceeding on plaintiff’s first amended complaint against 19 defendants Ochoa, Mares, and Alvarez for violations of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. No. 13.) 20 Plaintiff’s complaint stems from injuries he allegedly suffered when he was being transported 21 back to his institution of confinement from a court appearance. (Id.) Specifically, the complaint 22 alleges that defendants refused plaintiff the use of a seatbelt during the transport even though the 23 transport van was being driven in a reckless manner. (Id.) The matter was referred to a United 24 States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. 25 On April 21, 2016, defendants Ochoa, Mares, and Alvarez filed a motion for summary 26 judgment. (Doc. No. 47.) On October 28, 2016, plaintiff filed his opposition to the motion. 27 (Doc. No. 64.) On November 4, 2016, defendants Ochoa, Mares, and Alvarez filed their reply. 28 (Doc. No. 65.) On December 7, 2016, the assigned magistrate judge issued findings and 1 1 recommendations recommending that defendants’ motion for summary judgment be denied. 2 (Doc. No. 66.) 3 Defendants Ochoa, Mares, and Alvarez filed timely objections to the findings and 4 recommendations, arguing that the magistrate judge had erred in concluding that officer Ochoa’s 5 alleged reckless driving did not have to be the actual and proximate cause of plaintiff’s claimed 6 injuries and that no genuine dispute of fact exists as to whether officer Ochoa was driving 7 recklessly at the time plaintiff fell from his seat in the transport vehicle and was injured. (Doc. 8 No. 67.)1 These were essentially the same arguments advanced by defendants in moving for 9 summary judgment. The assigned magistrate judge, however, thoroughly addressed defendants’ 10 arguments and the relevant issues in the findings and recommendations and the undersigned 11 agrees in all respects with the analysis set forth therein.2 (See Doc. No. 66 at 12–14.) 12 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 304, this 13 court has conducted a de novo review of this case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, the 14 court finds the findings and recommendations to be supported by the record and proper analysis. 15 Accordingly, 16 1. The findings and recommendations (Doc. No. 66) issued by the magistrate judge on 17 December 7, 2016, are adopted in full; 18 2. The motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of defendants Ochoa, Mares, and 19 Alvarez (Doc. No. 47) is denied; and 20 21 3. This case is referred back to the magistrate judge for further proceedings. IT IS SO ORDERED. 22 Dated: January 30, 2017 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 Plaintiff did not object to the findings and recommendations or file a reply to the objections filed on behalf of defendants Ochoa, Mares, and Alvarez. 2 At the very least, a disputed issue of material fact exists as to whether defendant Ochoa was driving recklessly at the time plaintiff suffered his injury. That alone is a sufficient basis upon which to deny summary judgment here. 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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