Davis v. Dormire et al

Filing 9

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that 6 1 Complaints filed by Jeremy Atif Davis be dismissed, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915A, for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Objections to R&R due by 8/3/2009. Signed by Magistrate Judge William A. Knox on 7/13/2009. (skb)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI CENTRAL DIVISION JEREMY ATIF DAVIS, Register No. 522695, Plaintiff, v. DAVE DORMIRE, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 09-4070-CV-C-NKL REPORT, RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER Plaintiff Jeremy Atif Davis, an inmate confined in a Missouri penal institution, brought this case under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. 1983, and its corresponding jurisdictional statute, 28 U.S.C. 1343.1 Named as defendants are Dave Dormire, Jerry Ellison, Clifton Barns, Fontella, Judy Webster and Andrea Galbreath. Plaintiff complains that he was not given an attorney as he requested when he was read his Miranda rights. Plaintiff state he asked for an attorney at a conduct violation hearing. Plaintiff further claims he was falsely convicted of assault at conduct violation hearing. Plaintiff requested leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee and costs. 28 U.S.C. 1915(a). After reviewing plaintiff's inmate account information, the court granted him provisional leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court is required to screen prisoner cases and must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if satisfied that the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim under which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 1915A(b)(1) and (2). Additionally, under section 1915(g), if a prisoner, while incarcerated, has had three cases dismissed on any of these grounds, the court must deny leave to proceed under section 1915(a). The only exception to the This case was referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for processing in accord with the Magistrate Act, 28 U.S.C. 636, and L.R. 72.1. 1 successive petition clause is when the prisoner faces "imminent danger of serious physical injury." 28 U.S.C. 1915(g). Plaintiff claims, among other things that he was wrongly found guilty of assault in a conduct violation proceeding; that he was not provided an attorney; and that he was not given adequate opportunity to prepare for and present evidence at the hearing. Plaintiff's claims that he was wrongfully found guilty of a conduct violation are, in essence, due process claims. To establish a due process violation, plaintiff must show a deprivation of a liberty or property interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 710-12 (1976). The Due Process Clause does not protect prisoners from every adverse change in their confinement. Sandin v. Connor, 515 U.S. 472, 478 (1995). If the conditions and degree of confinement are within the sentence imposed and do not otherwise violate the Constitution, prisoners have no claim under the Due Process Clause. Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236, 242 (1976). See also Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 468 (1983) (prisoners have no inherent right to remain in general population). Disciplinary action taken in response to a prisoner's misconduct "falls within the expected parameters of the sentence." Sandin, 515 U.S. at 485. To determine whether prisoners have a liberty interest under state law, the court looks at the nature of the deprivation. Id. at 481-83. There is no liberty interest in the use of certain procedures by the state. Phillips v. Norris, 320 F.3d 844, 847 (8th Cir. 2003) (citing Kennedy v. Blankenship, 100 F.3d 640, 643 (8th Cir. 1996) ("Due Process Clause does not federalize state law procedural requirements")). Generally, state-created liberty interests are "limited to freedom from restraint which . . . imposes atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life." Sandin, 515 U.S. at 484; Portley-El v. Brill, 288 F.3d 1063, 1065 (8th Cir. 2001) (inmate who makes a due process challenge to his confinement "must make a threshold showing that the deprivation of which he complains imposed an `atypical and significant hardship.'") Segregated confinement does not normally "present a dramatic departure from the basic conditions" of prison life. Sandin, 515 U.S. at 485-86. It has been consistently held that assignment to segregation, even without cause, is not itself an atypical significant 2 hardship. Phillips v. Norris, 320 F.3d at 847. Because there is no due process involved, plaintiff had no right to have an attorney appointed to assist him at the hearing. Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed because he has failed to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Plaintiff is warned that if this case is dismissed as recommended, it will count against him for purposes of the three-dismissal rule set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1915(g). On May 14, 2009, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file out-of-time his complaint on court-approved forms. Upon consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that plaintiff is granted leave to file out-of-time his complaint on courtapproved forms. [5] It is further RECOMMENDED that plaintiff's claims be dismissed, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915A, for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Under 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(l), the parties may make specific written exceptions to this recommendation within twenty days. The District Judge will consider only exceptions to the specific proposed findings and recommendations of this report. Exceptions should not include matters outside of the report and recommendation. Other matters should be addressed in a separate pleading for consideration by the Magistrate Judge. The statute provides for exceptions to be filed within ten days of the service of the report and recommendation. The court has extended that time to twenty days, and thus, additional time to file exceptions will not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances. Failure to make specific written exceptions to this report and recommendation will result in a waiver of the right to appeal. See L.R. 74.1(a)(2). Dated this 13th day of July, 2009, at Jefferson City, Missouri. / s/ William A. Knox WILLIAM A. KNOX United States Magistrate Judge 3

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