Chavira v. Rankin

Filing 10

ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 11/26/2012. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/26/2012)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 RUBEN MIJEL CHAVIRA, Plaintiff, 5 6 7 8 9 Case No.: C 11-5730 CW (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. B. RANKIN, CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATOR, et al., Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 10 11 Plaintiff, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Kern 12 13 14 15 Valley State Prison, filed the instant pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, complaining of the violation of his constitutional rights by correctional officials at Salinas Valley 16 State Prison (SVSP), where he was incarcerated previously. 17 has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. 18 He Upon initial review, the Court dismissed the complaint with 19 leave to amend because Plaintiff had not clearly and concisely 20 set forth his claims against Defendants or directly linked 21 Defendants to his allegations. 22 Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. 23 Court determined: 24 25 26 27 28 In response to the Court’s order, Upon review thereof, the Plaintiff appears to allege the following: on January 17, 2007, he was involved in an altercation with another inmate; he was injured and the other inmate died; Plaintiff was accused of having killed the other inmate and was not provided with medical care for his injuries; subsequently, prison officials found Plaintiff not guilty of killing the other inmate and no criminal charges were brought against him. Plaintiff names only one Defendant, Correctional Officer B. Rankin. 1 2 3 4 Docket no. 8 at 1:23-2:3. The Court further found that the amended complaint remained 5 deficient because Plaintiff had not explained how Defendant 6 Rankin was involved in the above events and what actions he took 7 that violated Plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Consequently, 8 9 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 11 the Court dismissed the amended complaint with further leave to amend for Plaintiff to cure the noted pleading deficiencies. Plaintiff has filed a second amended complaint in which he 12 restates his allegations as follows: on January 17, 2008, inmate 13 Browne was injured and subsequently died; on November 19, 2008, 14 the District Attorney chose not to press charges against 15 Plaintiff for the incident; on February 3, 2009, Defendant Rankin 16 reissued disciplinary charges against him; he was held in 17 administrative segregation for twenty-one days pending 18 disposition of the charges; on May 8, 2009, the charges were 19 dismissed. 20 his civil rights based on the above course of events. Plaintiff seeks damages and claims the violation of 21 The Court liberally construes Plaintiff’s allegations as an 22 attempt to claim that his right to due process was violated when 23 he was charged with a disciplinary violation of which he later 24 was found innocent and was held in administrative segregation 25 pending investigation of the charges. 26 not cognizable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 27 28 These claims, however, are A prisoner has no constitutionally guaranteed immunity from being falsely or wrongly accused of conduct which may result in 2 1 the deprivation of a protected liberty interest. 2 Babcock, 870 F.2d 450, 452 (8th Cir. 1989); Freeman v. Rideout, 3 808 F.2d 949, 951 (2d Cir. 1986). 4 prisoner may have been innocent of disciplinary charges brought 5 against him and incorrectly held in administrative segregation 6 does not raise a due process issue. 7 process, not error-free decision-making. 8 9 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 See Sprouse v. Specifically, the fact that a The Constitution demands due See Ricker v. Leapley, 25 F.3d 1406, 1410 (8th Cir. 1994); McCrae v. Hankins, 720 F.2d 863, 868 (5th Cir. 1983). Further, a prisoner’s right to due process in connection with his placement in administrative segregation arises only when such segregation implicates a protected liberty interest in some unexpected manner, or imposes an “‘atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.’” Serrano v. Francis, 345 F.3d 1071, 1078 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Sandin v. Connor, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995)). Serrano, the Ninth Circuit recognized that, 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 [t]ypically, administrative segregation in and of itself does not implicate a protected liberty interest. See, e.g., Sandin, 515 U.S. at 486 (“[D]isciplinary segregation, with insignificant exceptions, mirror[s] those conditions imposed upon inmates in administrative segregation and protective custody.”); Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 449 (9th Cir. 2000) (holding that the presentencing prisoner had no liberty interest in being free from administrative segregation); accord Wagner v. Hanks, 128 F.3d 1173, 1174 (7th Cir.1997) (“But it would be difficult (we do not say impossible) to make disciplinary segregation sufficiently more restrictive than the conditions of the general population . . . to count as an atypical and significant deprivation of liberty[.]”); Freitas v. Ault, 109 F.3d 1335, 1337 3 In 1 2 3 4 5 6 (8th Cir.1997) (“We believe that as a matter of law these conditions of [standard administrative segregation] do not constitute an ‘atypical and significant’ hardship, . . . when compared to the burdens of ordinary prison life.”) (internal citation omitted). Id. (alterations in original). Here, Plaintiff objects solely to the fact of his placement 7 in administrative segregation for twenty-one days after being 8 charged with a disciplinary violation of which he subsequently 9 was found innocent. United States District Court Northern District of California 10 11 12 Such allegation fails to state a claim for the denial of due process. See Sandin, 515 U.S. at 485-86 (finding prisoner’s thirty-day placement in disciplinary segregation did not result in type of atypical, significant 13 deprivation for which state might create liberty interest); 14 Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 448-49 (9th Cir. 2000)(finding 15 16 17 18 prisoner’s seventy-day placement in secured housing unit pending disciplinary hearing did not give rise to liberty interest); May v. Baldwin, 109 F.3d 557, 565 (9th Cir. 1997) (holding allegation 19 of placement in administrative segregation does not state due 20 process claim); see also Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 468 21 (1983) (“[T]he transfer of an inmate to less amenable and more 22 restrictive quarters for nonpunitive reasons is well within the 23 terms of confinement ordinarily contemplated by a prison 24 sentence.”). 25 Based on the above, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s 26 allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief may be 27 granted for the violation of his right to due process, and that 28 granting him further leave to amend the complaint would be 4 1 futile. 2 3 4 5 Accordingly, this action is DISMISSED with prejudice. The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment and close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 11/26/2012 6 ____________________________ CLAUDIA WILKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 7 8 9 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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