Payne v. Cate et al

Filing 29

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd on 2/4/2015 DENYING plaintiff's 18 motion for reconsideration. (Yin, K)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MYRON A. PAYNE, 12 13 14 No. 2:12-cv-0243 DAD P Plaintiff, v. ORDER MATTHEW CATE et al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action. Pending before the 18 court is plaintiff‟s motion for reconsideration of the court‟s order screening his amended 19 complaint. 20 BACKGROUND 21 In this case, plaintiff‟s primary claim presented in his amended complaint is that 22 defendants improperly validated him as a gang member of the Black Guerilla Family while he 23 was incarcerated at High Desert State Prison. In its screening order, the court found that 24 plaintiff‟s amended complaint appeared to state cognizable claims for relief against defendants 25 Peddicord, Griffith, Vanderville, Armoskus, Brackett, St. Andre, Fischer, Kissel, Perez, 26 Cochrane, Kots, and Runnels in connection with his allegedly erroneous gang validation. The 27 court also found, however, that plaintiff‟s amended complaint did not state cognizable claims for 28 relief against supervisory defendants Cate, Tilton, Felker, Audette, Wright, and Gower or against 1 1 defendants Audette, Wright, and Gower for the way in which they processed plaintiff‟s inmate 2 appeals. (Doc. No. 16) 3 4 PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION The court has considered plaintiff‟s motion for reconsideration and will deny it. “[A] 5 motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the 6 district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an 7 intervening change in the controlling law.” Kona Enterprises v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 8 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Using a motion for reconsideration to reargue the points the court rejected in 9 the original order is improper. See American Ironworks & Erectors v. North American 10 Construction Corporation, 248 F.3d 892, 899 (9th Cir. 2001). A party cannot have relief merely 11 because he or she is unhappy with the judgment. See Khan v. Fasano, 194 F. Supp. 2d 1134, 12 1136 (S.D. Cal. 2001). 13 Nonetheless, the court has reviewed plaintiff‟s amended complaint once again. As to the 14 court‟s screening order with respect to supervisory defendants Cate, Tilton, Felker, Audette, 15 Wright, and Gower, as the court previously advised plaintiff, supervisory personnel are generally 16 not liable under § 1983 for the actions of their employees under a theory of respondeat superior 17 and, therefore, when a named defendant holds a supervisorial position, the causal link between 18 him and the claimed constitutional violation must be specifically alleged. See Starr v. Baca, 652 19 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011) (supervisory defendant may be held liable under § 1983 only “„if 20 there exists either (1) his or her personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation, or (2) a 21 sufficient causal connection between the supervisor‟s wrongful conduct and the constitutional 22 violation.‟”) (quoting Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989)). In his amended 23 complaint, plaintiff‟s allegations concerning the involvement of these supervisory defendants in 24 his gang validation are too speculative and attenuated and do not set forth specific facts upon 25 which liability could be based. In this regard, plaintiff has failed to adequately allege the 26 requisite causal link between these supervisory defendants and the alleged violation of his 27 constitutional rights. Although plaintiff clearly disagrees with the court‟s decision to not order 28 service of his complaint on these defendants, plaintiff has not demonstrated that the court 2 1 committed clear error or that he is otherwise entitled to reconsideration of the court‟s screening 2 order. 3 Similarly, as to the court‟s order with respect to defendants Audette, Wright, and Gower, 4 as the court previously advised plaintiff, prison officials are not required under federal law to 5 process inmate grievances in a specific way or to respond to them in a favorable manner. Even if 6 defendants delayed, denied, or erroneously screened out plaintiff‟s inmate grievances, they have 7 not deprived him of a federal constitutional right. This is because it is well established that 8 “inmates lack a separate constitutional entitlement to a specific prison grievance procedure.” 9 Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Mann v. Adams, 855 F.2d 639, 640 10 (9th Cir. 1988)). The allegations in plaintiff‟s amended complaint that these defendants failed to 11 provide him with a more substantive review of his gang validation during the inmate appeals 12 process are simply too vague and conclusory to state cognizable claims for relief. Again, 13 although plaintiff clearly disagrees with the court‟s decision to not order service of his complaint 14 on these defendants, plaintiff has not demonstrated that the court committed clear error or that he 15 is otherwise entitled to reconsideration of the court‟s screening order. 16 17 CONCLUSION Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff‟s motion for reconsideration (Doc. 18 No. 18) is denied. 19 Dated: February 4, 2015 20 21 22 23 DAD:9 payn0243.motr 24 25 26 27 28 3

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