Canda v. Corrections Corporation of America et al
ORDER; Judge Johnston's Findings and Recommendations 9 is ADOPTED IN FULL. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Berkebile, Fender, Stewart, Batista, Corrections Corporation of America, and the Montana Department of Correction should be DISMISSED. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 1/10/2017. (cpy mailed to plaintiff Canda) (TLO)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
GREAT FALLS DIVISION
JAMES EDWARD CANDA,
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF
AMERICA, et al.,
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND
Plaintiff James Canda, a prisoner at Montana State Prison, filed a Complaint
pro se alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on May 12, 2016. (Doc. 2.) Canda
alleges that Defendants deprived him of due process when his federal income tax
refund check was withheld without notice. (Doc. 2 at 7.) United States Magistrate
Judge John Johnston entered Findings and Recommendations in this matter on
December 16, 2016. (Doc. 9.) Neither party filed objections.
When a party makes no objections, the Court need not review de novo the
proposed Findings and Recommendations. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149-52
(1986). This Court will review Judge Johnston’s Findings and Recommendations,
however, for clear error. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach.,
Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981).
Judge Johnston acknowledged that the Court must screen Canda’s complaint
and dismiss it or portions thereof if the complaint is “frivolous,” “fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted,” or “seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune.” (Doc. 9 at 3.) Judge Johnston determined that Canda’s
allegations against Ms. Tillman, the mailroom clerk at Crossroads Correctional
Center, are sufficient to state a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 4.
Canda alleges an authorized, intentional deprivation of property, which is
actionable under the Due Process Clause.
Judge Johnston determined that Mr. Canda’s allegations against supervisory
officials—Defendants Berkebile, Fender, Stewart, or Batista—are insufficient to
state a claim. (Doc. 9 at 6.) Judge Johnston cited to multiple cases for the
proposition that a plaintiff must demonstrate a supervisor’s prior knowledge of
unconstitutional conditions or conduct committed by subordinates in order to
sufficiently state a due process claim. Id. at 5. Canda has not alleged that
supervisory defendants had prior knowledge that he would be denied notice of the
withholding of his tax refund check. Judge Johnston accordingly concluded that
Canda’s allegations were insufficient.
Judge Johnston also determined that Canda’s allegations against Corrections
Corporation of America are insufficient to state a claim. (Doc. 9 at 7.) Judge
Johnston so determined because Canda has not alleged any wrongful policies or
customs on the part of Corrections Corporation of America. Id. Judge Johnston
also concluded that Canda’s claims against the Montana Department of
Corrections should be dismissed due to the State of Montana’s well-established
sovereign immunity. (Doc. 9 at 8.)
The Court has reviewed Judge Johnston’s Findings and Recommendations
for clear error. The Court finds no error in Judge Johnston’s Findings and
Recommendations, and adopts them in full.
IT IS ORDERED that Judge Johnston’s Findings and Recommendations
(Doc. 9) is ADOPTED IN FULL.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Berkebile, Fender, Stewart,
Batista, Corrections Corporation of America, and the Montana Department of
Correction should be DISMISSED.
DATED this 10th day of January, 2017.
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