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Ambriz v. Kernan

February 9, 2009

ALFRED VINCENT AMBRIZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SCOTT KERNAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on the January 5, 2006, second amended complaint which claims the following: (1) defendants Hill, Holmes and Kennedy deprived plaintiff of his right to practice his religion on C Facility from 1999 through 2005; (2) Hill, Holmes and Kennedy held plaintiff in the Security Housing Unit on C facility from 1999 through 2005 in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3) Hill, Holmes and Kennedy discriminated against plaintiff based on race in the assignment of prison jobs, in permitting access to recreational equipment on the yard, and in discipline. The remaining defendants have moved for summary judgment and for the reasons explained below, the motion must be granted.

I. Facts & Background

A. Plaintiff

At all times relevant to this action, plaintiff was a prisoner confined at California State Prison, Sacramento ("CSP Sac"). He arrived there on June 19, 1999, and was housed on C Facility. Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J., Attach. 1, Stmt. of Undisp. Facts ("SUF"), SUF 6. He was moved to A Facility on December 27, 1999, and remained there until April 19, 2001, when he returned to C Facility. SUF 47. Then on December 7, 2002, he was moved back to A-Facility where he remained until October 9, 2003, when he was again returned to C Facility. SUF 48. On September 6, 2005, plaintiff was moved into special housing pending his transfer to a different prison. SUF 49.

B. Defendant Hill

From 1999 through 2005, defendant Hill was a guard at CSP Sac. Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A, Hill Decl., at ¶ 1. With the exception of approximately two months in the year 2000, Hill did not work in C Facility until he was made captain of that facility in December 2004. Id., at ¶ 2. As the facility captain, Hill met with the warden to discuss the modified program (discussed below) that was implemented on Facility C. Id., at ¶ 2.

C. Defendant Holmes

Defendant Holmes was a guard on C Facility at CSP Sac between 1998 and 2000. Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. B, Holmes Decl., at ¶ 1. In 2002, he became a sergeant on C Facility, and held that position until the end of April 2004, when he was promoted to lieutenant. Id., at ¶ 1. In June 2004, he was assigned to A Facility, where he remained until the end of January 2005. While he worked on A Facility, he had no duties or authority within C Facility. Id., at ¶ 2. He returned to his position as a lieutenant in C Facility in February 2005. Id.

D. Defendant Kennedy

Defendant Kennedy has worked at CSP Sac since February 18, 2002. Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. C, Kennedy Decl., ¶ 1. At all times relevant to this action, he was a sergeant. Id.

Kennedy did not work in or have any responsibilities, authority or control over anyone in C Facility from: (a) 1999 to May 19, 2002; (b) June 3, 2002 to May 16, 2004; (c) June 7, 2004, to August 15, 2004; (d) October 11, 2004, to May 15, 2005; and (e) June 5, 2005, to the present. SUF 66.

E. Description of C Facility at CSP Sac

A substantial wall divides C-Facility into two sections - one on the east and one on the west. On the east side is a simple concrete area without any recreational equipment. SUF 28. On the west yard are concrete and grass exercise areas, a basketball court and other "recreational amenities." Id. The east side has small kitchens and limited employment opportunities. SUF 33. The main kitchen and work center, and therefore a relatively large number of job opportunities are in the west yard. SUF 32. Defendants have submitted declarations describing three possible ways prisoners can pass between the east and west yards despite the wall. SUF 21 Two are sally ports, which connect the two yards and serve as areas for controlling movement between them. SUF 22. The third is the chapel, which is within the wall that divides the facility. SUF 23. The chapel has two doors, which lock and unlock manually. Id. One door is on the east wall and one ...


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