Davis v. Schulteis et al

Filing 14

ORDER DISMISSING ACTION With Prejudice For Failure To State A Claim Upon Which Relief May Be Granted (Doc. 12 ), DISMISSAL COUNTS AS STRIKE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. 1915(G), signed by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Beck on 6/15/2010. CASE CLOSED. (Scrivner, E)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 ANTHONY DAVIS, 9 10 v. Plaintiff, CASE NO. 1:09-cv-00757-DLB PC ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITH PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED (Doc. 12) 12 13 14 15 16 I. 17 Order Following Screening Of First Amended Complaint Background Plaintiff Anthony Davis ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Defendants. / DISMISSAL COUNTS AS STRIKE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. 1915(G) UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 L. L. SCHULTIES, et al., 18 Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in 19 forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983. Plaintiff initiated this 20 action by filing his complaint on April 29, 2009. On October 28, 2009, the Court dismissed 21 Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to file an amended complaint. On 22 November 16, 2009, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint. (Doc. 12.) 23 The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 24 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. 1915A(a). The 25 Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are 26 legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or 27 that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 28 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been 1 1 paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or 2 appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. 3 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 4 A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the 5 pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not 6 required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere 7 conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing 8 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must 9 set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to `state a claim that is plausible on its 10 face.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations 11 are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. 12 II. 13 Summary Of First Amended Complaint Plaintiff was previously incarcerated at California Correctional Institution ("CCI") in 14 Tehachapi, California, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names as 15 Defendants Warden L. L. Schulteis, Correctional Counselor L. Phillips, and Chief of Appeals N. 16 Grannis. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. 17 Plaintiff alleges the following. On September 15, 2008, Plaintiff appeared before the 18 Institutional Classification Committee ("ICC") for his periodic Secured Housing Unit ("SHU") 19 review. Defendant Phillips requested a R-suffix review for Plaintiff because of three previous 20 115 Rules Violation Reports for indecent exposure. Plaintiff had been found guilty of all three, 21 but this occurred years ago at a different prison. The district attorney had declined to prosecute 22 any of the indecent exposure incidents. Defendant Schulteis as chief deputy warden accepted the 23 request to conduct a R-suffix review. Plaintiff appealed this issue to the third level of review. 24 Defendant N. Grannis denied Plaintiff's request to remove the R suffix from his record. The 25 Court assumes that a R-suffix was attached to Plaintiff's record. Plaintiff alleges that these 26 actions were discriminatory, biased, retaliatory, and unprofessional. 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 III. 2 Analysis It is unclear what claim Plaintiff asserts regarding bias and discrimination.1 Plaintiff 3 appears to be ascribing a motivation to defendants' alleged actions, which is not in itself a 4 violation. However, Plaintiff protests the unfairness of the R-suffix, which may be asserting a 5 due process violation. State law creates liberty interests that deserve protection under the Due 6 Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when the deprivation in question restrains the 7 inmates's freedom in a manner not expected from his or her sentence and "imposes atypical and 8 significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life." Sandin v. 9 Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483-84 (1995). The Ninth Circuit has held that labeling a prisoner a sex 10 offender and mandating treatment because of the stigmatizing label gives rise to a liberty interest 11 deserving of Fourteenth Amendment protection. Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818, 829 (9th Cir. 12 1997). 13 Here, Plaintiff does not allege that he was ordered into treatment because of his R-suffix 14 designation. Even if Plaintiff was entitled to protection under the Due Process Clause, Plaintiff 15 also fails to allege any facts that indicate he was not provided with due process prior to the 16 attachment of the R-suffix to his prison file. If Plaintiff is asserting a defamation of character 17 claim, Plaintiff's claim fails. Reputation alone does not implicate any liberty or property 18 interests sufficient to invoke the procedural protection of the Due Process Clause. Paul v. Davis, 19 424 U.S. 693, 701 (1976). Plaintiff thus fails to allege a cognizable due process claim. 20 Plaintiff also fails to state a claim against Defendant Grannis for ruling against Plaintiff in 21 the inmate grievance process. There is no right to a specific inmate grievance procedure 22 protected by the Due Process Clause. See Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003). 23 24 25 26 27 28 As to Plaintiff's retaliation claim, Plaintiff alleges no facts that support such a claim. Allegations of r e ta lia tio n against a prisoner's First Amendment rights to speech or to petition the government may support a section 1 9 8 3 claim. Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 532 (9th Cir. 1985); see also Valandingham v. Bojorquez, 866 F.2d 1 1 3 5 (9th Cir. 1989); Pratt v. Rowland, 65 F.3d 802, 807 (9th Cir. 1995). "W ith in the prison context, a viable claim o f First Amendment retaliation entails five basic elements: (1) An assertion that a state actor took some adverse a c tio n against an inmate (2) because of (3) that prisoner's protected conduct, and that such action (4) chilled the in m a te 's exercise of his First Amendment rights, and (5) the action did not reasonably advance a legitimate c o r r e c tio n a l goal." Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567-68 (9th Cir. 2005). Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable r e ta lia tio n claim. 1 3 1 Ruling against Plaintiff in the inmate grievance process, without more, is insufficient to state a 2 claim. Furthermore, Defendants are liable only for their conduct, not the conduct of their 3 subordinates. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1948-49. 4 IV. 5 Conclusion And Order Plaintiff fails to state any cognizable claims against any Defendants. Plaintiff was 6 previously provided with the opportunity to amend his complaint and cure the deficiencies 7 identified, but Plaintiff has failed to do so. Further leave to amend will not be granted. Lopez v. 8 Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). 9 Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED with 10 prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Clerk of the Court is 11 directed to close this action. This dismissal counts as a strike pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(g). 12 13 14 3b142a 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 15, 2010 /s/ Dennis L. Beck UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

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