Carrea vs. Beard

Filing 18

ORDER DISMISSING CASE WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton on 1/31/14. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(sisS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/31/2014)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 OAKLAND DIVISION 6 7 CHRISTOPHER CARREA, JR., Plaintiff, 8 vs. 9 ORDER OF DISMISSAL JEFFERY BEARD, et. al., Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 No. C 13-3762 PJH (PR) / 12 Plaintiff, an inmate at California Men’s Colony, has filed a pro se civil rights 13 complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff’s original complaint was dismissed with leave 14 to amend and he has filed an amended complaint. 15 DISCUSSION 16 A. Standard of Review 17 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners 18 seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 19 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and 20 dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may 21 be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 22 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police 23 Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). 24 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of 25 the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not necessary; 26 the statement need only '"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the 27 grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations 28 omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual 1 allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds’ of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' 2 requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a 3 cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief 4 above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) 5 (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is 6 plausible on its face." Id. at 570. The United States Supreme Court has recently explained 7 the “plausible on its face” standard of Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide the 8 framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are 9 well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 679 (2009). 12 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 13 elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was 14 violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the 15 color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 16 B. 17 18 19 Legal Claims Plaintiff alleges that he has been improperly classified as a gang member and that the inmate grievance system is ineffective. The process constitutionally due to an inmate placed in segregation depends on 20 whether the placement is disciplinary or administrative. Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 21 1080, 1099 (9th Cir. 1986), overruled in part on other grounds by Sandin v. Conner, 515 22 U.S. 472 (1995). In Bruce v. Ylst, 351 F.3d 1283, 1287 (9th Cir. 2003), the Ninth Circuit 23 determined that California's policy of placing suspected gang members in segregation is an 24 administrative decision, undertaken to preserve order in the prison. When an inmate is 25 placed in segregation for administrative purposes, due process requires only the following 26 procedures: 27 28 Prison officials must hold an informal nonadversary hearing within a reasonable time after the prisoner is segregated. The prison officials must inform the prisoner of the charges against the prisoner or their reasons for 2 1 considering segregation. Prison officials must allow the prisoner to present his views.... [D]ue process [ ] does not require detailed written notice of charges, representation by counsel or counsel-substitute, an opportunity to present witnesses, or a written decision describing the reasons for placing the prisoner in administrative segregation. 2 3 4 Toussaint, 801 F.2d at 1100-01 (footnote omitted). 5 Prisoners are entitled to the minimal procedural protections of adequate notice and 6 an opportunity to be heard. Bruce, 351 F.3d at 1287. In addition to these minimal 7 protections, there must be "some evidence" supporting the decision to place a prisoner in 8 segregated housing. Id. (citing Superintendent v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985)). The 9 "some evidence" standard sets a low bar, consistent with the recognition that assignment of inmates within prisons is "essentially a matter of administrative discretion," subject to 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 "minimal legal limitations." Bruce, 351 F.3d at 1287 (citing Toussaint, 801 F.2d 1080, with 12 respect to the minimal limitations). A single piece of evidence may be sufficient to meet the 13 "some evidence" requirement, if that evidence has "sufficient indicia of reliability." Id. at 14 1288. 15 In addition, there is no constitutional right to a prison administrative appeal or 16 grievance system. See Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003); Mann v. 17 Adams, 855 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1988); accord Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 565 18 (1974) (accepting Nebraska system wherein no provision made for administrative review of 19 disciplinary decisions). 20 Plaintiff only sets forth general allegations against the entire prison system. He 21 states that the entire state prison system has a history of improperly classifying African- 22 Americans as gang members and he himself was improperly classified as a gang member. 23 He provides no details regarding when or where he was classified as a gang member or 24 the evidence that was used. He also states that the inmate grievance system is ineffective, 25 but provides no specific examples.1 In addition, plaintiff is currently incarcerated at 26 27 28 1 Plaintiff also feels that prisoners are not given enough money by the prison system when they are released though he has failed to describe how this represents a violation of a constitutional right against him. 3 1 California Men’s Colony which lies within the Central District of California and he describes 2 events that occurred there but does not discuss events in this district. 3 All of these deficiencies where discussed in the court’s initial review and plaintiff was 4 instructed to address these issues in the amended complaint. Plaintiff has again failed to 5 present specific allegations or address what events occurred in this district. "Under Ninth 6 Circuit case law, district courts are only required to grant leave to amend if a complaint can 7 possibly be saved. Courts are not required to grant leave to amend if a complaint lacks 8 merit entirely." Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000); see also, Smith v. 9 Pacific Properties and Development Corp., 358 F.3d 1097, 1106 (9th Cir. 2004), citing Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir. 1995) ("a district court should grant leave to 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made, unless it determines that the 12 pleading could not be cured by the allegation of other facts."). As plaintiff was already 13 granted leave to amend, this appears to be one of those relatively rare cases when to grant 14 plaintiff leave to amend again would be patently futile based on the discussion above. 15 CONCLUSION 16 17 1. Plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time to file the amended complaint (Docket No. 16) is GRANTED and the amended complaint is deemed timely filed. 18 19 20 21 2. The amended complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice for the reasons set forth above. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 31 , 2014. PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge 22 23 G:\PRO-SE\PJH\CR.13\Carrea3762.dsm.wpd 24 25 26 27 28 4

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