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Barno v. Ryan

February 19, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. William McCurine, Jr. U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court


I. Introduction and Procedural History

In this prisoner civil rights case, Rodney Bernard Barno ("Plaintiff") is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Currently pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. [Doc. No. 63.] Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC" at Doc. No. 61), on December 29, 2008 following the District Court's November 17, 2008 Order granting Plaintiff leave to amend his Fourteenth Amendment claim only. [Order Adopting Report and Recommendation, Doc. No. 55.] Specifically, the District Court stated:

"Although the alleged facts fail to support a due process claim, the court grants Plaintiff leave to amend. In doing so, Plaintiff must demonstrate a constitutionally-protected interest was affected by his initial misclassification. Plaintiff's classification, commitment to administrative segregation, and temporarily restrict visitation rights do not provide bases for recovery under the Fourteenth Amendment. [citations omitted.] If Plaintiff chooses to amend, Plaintiff must allege facts, such as particular conditions of his administrative segregation or other coercive treatment, to show an 'atypical and significant hardship' resulted from the misclassification process." [Doc. No. 55 at 4:24-55.] [emphasis added.]

Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amendment contending Plaintiff has failed "to allege facts beyond those alleged in his First Amended Complaint" as required by the District Court. [Doc. No. 63 at 2:13-16.]

On February 11, 2009, the parties jointly moved to refer this matter to Magistrate Judge McCurine for all purposes. [Doc. Nos. 67, 70.] After reviewing the pleadings, parties' briefs and exhibits filed in support thereof, for the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss as discussed in detail below.

II. Factual Background

Plaintiff alleges that on March 1, 2005, he was transferred to the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility ("RJDCF") for intake and processing. (SAC at p. 3, para. 10.) During his placement at the RJDCF, Plaintiff alleges correctional officer Defendant Cortez "made notations in plaintiff's prison file he had (sic) a sex offense. (SAC at p. 4, para. 11.) Plaintiff contends he "was not afforded due process on the matter" and "[n]o procedures were given." Id.

On August 2, 2005, Plaintiff was transferred from RJDCF to Calipatria State Prison. (SAC at p. 4, para. 12.) Plaintiff alleges that upon his arrival at Calipatria, he was placed in administrative segregation. Id. On August 18, 2005, Plaintiff was called before the Institution Classification Committee ("ICC") without prior written notice of the hearing. Id. As a result of the hearing, Plaintiff alleges the warden of Calipatria, Defendant Ryan, classified Plaintiff as a sex offender and restricted his visits with minors pending receipt and evaluation of the arrest report describing the conduct in question. (SAC, p. 4-7, paras. 12-13.) Plaintiff alleges his "due process rights were violated" at the August 18, 2005 hearing. (SAC at p. 4, para. 13.)

On September 8, 2005, Plaintiff was transferred to the Corcoran State Prison. (SAC, p. 4, para. 14.) On or about, September 20, 2005, the classification committee determined that no "R" suffix was required after review of the requested arrest report. (SAC, p. 5, para. 14.) The classification committee also removed the visiting restriction with minors. Id.

On December 7, 2006, Plaintiff was transferred back to the RJDCF. (SAC, p. 5, para. 16.)

On December 21, 2006, Plaintiff alleges an Institutional Classification Committee hearing was held without advance written notice. Id. Plaintiff states the topic of sex offenses was never discussed during the hearing. Nevertheless, after the ICC hearing, a classification document indicated Plaintiff was a sex offender. (SAC, p. 5, para. 17.) Plaintiff contends "no due process was afforded" to dispute the classification error. Id.

On or about July 23, 2007, Plaintiff alleges RJDCF correctional counselor, Defendant Homer, released him from employment at the medical clinic where he was assigned. (SAC, p.6, para. 22.) Plaintiff states an Officer Soto told him he was removed from the position "due to a 'hidden sex offense'." Id.

Plaintiff contends that on September 4, 2007, he went before a RJDCF committee for classification review where he was again labeled a sex offender "without prior 72 hour notice, due ...

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