Inmate back in court in bid to collect award from alleged prison assault in 2007

By John Breslin | May 28, 2018

It began inside a cell in a federal penitentiary in California more than a decade ago after an inmate had just thrown urine and feces in the face of a guard.

It began inside a cell in a federal penitentiary in California more than a decade ago after an inmate had just thrown urine and feces in the face of a guard.

Two correctional officers at Atwater penitentiary responded and entered the cell of Maximilian Monclova-Chavez in the isolation block of the facility.

Monclova-Clavez, and federal prosecutors in a criminal trial, claimed that the officers, Timothy Miller and Kenneth White, sat on each side of the inmate and verbally abused him. A third officer, Eric McEachern, then entered the cell and allegedly struck the inmate twice across the head. McEachern was cleared of criminally violating Monclova-Chavez civil rights, but all three defendants had civil judgments entered against them, and now, 11 years later, the issue regarding the civil judgments was back in federal court.

In short, Monclova-Chavez wants his money, a total of $22,000 awarded against the three defendants for civil rights violations. But they appear difficult to find, according to court papers.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California recently considered a request by Monclova-Chavez's attorney to withdraw as counsel because her attempts at finding the three defendants were unsuccessful.

Attorney Elizabeth Alexander tried several times to find the three defendants for over a year, and even considered hiring a private investigator, but decided it was not worth the cost, and that the defendants likely would not have the assets to pay. She tried to sell the judgments, but was unable to do so, the court papers state.

The court agreed to her request to withdraw on May 4. Monclova-Chavez did not object. He is now representing himself, and he still wants his money.

He applied for a writ of execution in district court but did not file any papers. The court said that "it appears that plaintiff actually seeks a court order assigning him rights to defendants’ bank accounts or wages."

Monclova-Chavez was advised to apply for a writ of execution but told it was his responsibility to then serve the judgments and take any other action needed to collect the money.

The court ordered its clerk supply the forms needed and that a writ of execution would follow automatically.

McEachern, in a high profile trial in 2013, was cleared by a federal jury of violating the inmate's civil rights, and attempting to cover up what happened by reporting that Monclova-Chavez had injured himself by banging his head of the wall.

But, according to a report in the Fresno Bee, the two other officers had also written similar reports before changing their stories.

And part of the defense, the Bee reported, was that authorities, with promises of no prosecution, pressured the two into changing their stories and implicating McEachern.

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