(PS) Brown v. Sutter Center for Psychiatry et al, No. 2:2011cv02661 - Document 5 (E.D. Cal. 2011)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison on 12/23/2011 RECOMMENDING that this action be dismissed without prejudice to pursuing remedies in state court. Referred to Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Objections to F&R due within 14 days. (Zignago, K.)
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(PS) Brown v. Sutter Center for Psychiatry et al Doc. 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 AARON BROWN, 12 13 14 No. CIV S-11-2661-KJM-CMK Plaintiff, vs. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS SUTTER CENTER FOR PSYCHIATRY, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 / 17 18 Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action. Pending before 19 the court is plaintiff’s complaint (Doc. 1). The court is required to screen complaints brought by 20 prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental 21 entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court is also required to screen complaints brought by 22 litigants who have been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). 23 Under these screening provisions, the court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it: 24 (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or 25 (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. 26 §§ 1915(e)(2)(A), (B) and 1915A(b)(1), (2). Moreover, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 Procedure 12(h), this court must dismiss an action “[w]henever it appears . . . that the court lacks 2 jurisdiction of the subject matter . . . .” Because plaintiff, who is not a prisoner, has been granted 3 leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the court will screen the complaint pursuant to § 1915(e)(2). 4 Pursuant to Rule 12(h), the court will also consider as a threshold matter whether it has subject- 5 matter jurisdiction. 6 7 I. PLAINTIFF’S ALLEGATIONS 8 9 Plaintiff names the following as defendants: Sutter Center for Psychiatry; Donomic J. Herda, a doctor; Simriti Singh, a doctor; Goodman, a doctor; Nirajp Gupta, a doctor; 10 Stephen E. Ericson; Jeffrey S. Kahn; West Sacramento Police Department; Tate, a police 11 investigator; Joshua Carruth; and Gona Moya, a deputy coroner. Plaintiff states that he is the 12 twin brother of Eric Brown, who is now deceased. Plaintiff’s complaint concerns the 13 circumstances of plaintiff’s brother’s death and resulting investigation. 14 According to plaintiff, on October 20, 2010, he learned that his brother had 15 committed suicide, apparently while he was living at the Flagstone Motel. Plaintiff states that he 16 was told “misinformation” by Officer Carruth that the windows on his brother’s motel room 17 could not be opened from either the inside or outside. It is not clear what bearing this has on 18 plaintiff’s claim. Next, plaintiff states that the next month – November 2010 – defendants 19 working for the police department told plaintiff that they would conduct follow-up interviews 20 with various potential witnesses, but never did. Plaintiff adds that he later learned that a 10mm 21 cartridge had been found in his brother’s room, and that the autopsy revealed scratch marks on 22 his brother’s wrist. 23 With respect to the medical defendants, plaintiff appears to allege negligence in 24 their treatment of his brother’s mental health problems. 25 /// 26 /// 2 1 II. DISCUSSION 2 Section 1983 provides a remedy for violations of rights guaranteed by the United 3 States Constitution, see Buckley v. City of Redding, 66 F.3d 188, 190 (9th Cir. 1995), as well as 4 rights guaranteed by federal statutes, see Gonzaga University v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 279 (2002). 5 It does not, however, provide a remedy for violations of state law. See Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 6 F.3d 978, 987 (9th Cir. 2007). In this case, the court cannot discern how the facts alleged in 7 plaintiff’s complaint relate to any violations of either federal law or the constitution. Plaintiff 8 complains of alleged negligence with respect to: (1) treatment of his brother’s mental health 9 problems; (2) the investigation into the circumstances of his brother’s death; and (3) the autopsy 10 performed on his brother’s body. Negligence is a state law claim that does not implicate 11 violation of either federal law or the constitution. 12 13 14 15 III. CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that this action be dismissed without prejudice to pursuing remedies in state court. 16 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District 17 Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within 14 days 18 after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 19 objections with the court. Responses to objections shall be filed within 14 days after service of 20 objections. Failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal. 21 See Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 22 23 24 25 DATED: December 23, 2011 ______________________________________ CRAIG M. KELLISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 26 3