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Espino v. City of Chula Vista

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 17, 2007

FELIX ESPINO, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHULA VISTA, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Louisa S Porter United States Magistrate Judge

[Doc. No. 33]

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR TRANSFER

Plaintiff is state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On January 8, 2007, Plaintiff filed a request for transfer to a different institution. Plaintiff requests a transfer because (1) conducting discovery from his present institution is difficult as a pro se litigant, (2) he has limited access to the telephone, and (3) he has limited access to the law library.

Prisoners have no constitutional right to incarceration in a particular institution. Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 244-48 (1983); Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1976). A prisoner's liberty interests are sufficiently extinguished by his conviction that the state may generally confine or transfer him to any of its institutions without offending the Constitution. See Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 530 (9th Cir. 1985) (intrastate prison transfer does not implicate Due Process Clause).

Prisoners have a constitutional right of access to the courts. See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 346 (1996); Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821 (1977). However, the right of access to the courts is only a right to bring complaints to the federal court and not a right to discover such claims or to litigate them effectively once filed with a court. See Lewis, 518 U.S. at 354-55; Madrid v. Gomez, 190 F.3d 990, 995 (9th Cir. 1999); Cornett v. Donovan, 51 F.3d 894, 898 (9th Cir. 1995) ("[W]e conclude the Supreme Court has clearly stated that the constitutional right of access requires a state to provide a law library or legal assistance only during the pleading stage of a habeas or civil rights action.").

Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to incarceration in a particular institution. While Plaintiff asserts that conducting discovery at his present institution would be difficult, Plaintiff's constitutional right of access to the courts does not include a right to discover his claims or to litigate them effectively once his complaint is filed with the court. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for transfer is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20070117

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