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Glass v. Woodford

September 23, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge


I. Screening Order

Plaintiff Donald Glass ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his complaint on January 5, 2009 in the Sacramento Division of the Eastern District of California. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff's case was transferred to the Fresno Division on January 15, 2009. (Doc. 3.) Plaintiff's complaint is presently before the Court for screening.

A. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to § 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

B. Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint

Plaintiff is currently a state prisoner at Kern Valley State Prison. Plaintiff was previously incarcerated at the California Medical Facility ("CMF") in Vacaville, California, California State Prison at Sacramento ("CSP-Sac") in Represa, California, and California State Prison at Corcoran ("CSP-Cor"), in Corcoran, California. Plaintiff complains of events that allegedly occurred at CSP-Cor.

Plaintiff names the following defendants: Bill Lockyer, former attorney general of California; Robert Santos, criminal records manager for State of California Department of Justice; Jeanne S. Woodford, former director of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"); A. K. Scribner, warden of CSP-Cor; Lonnie Watson, Chief Deputy Warden of CSP-Cor; D. Sheppard-Brooks, associate warden at CSP-Cor; D. Ortiz, associate warden at CSP-Cor; V. Yamamoto, associate warden at CSP-Cor; Rhonda Lowden, facility captain; R. Lopez, facility captain; R. Halberg, facility captain; R. Fields, facility captain; A. Diaz, correctional lieutenant; S. Grandy, correctional lieutenant; D. Indendi, correctional lieutenant; L. L. Wood, correctional lieutenant; E. Hamilton, correctional officer; J. Bautista, correctional officer; A. Robles, correctional officer; Logue, correctional officer; V. Cedillos, correctional officer; B. Riddle, correctional officer; L. McDaniel, licensed vocational nurse; Lawence, licensed vocational nurse; D. L. Matthews, correctional lieutenant; R. Warren, correctional sergeant; J. M. Gonzales, correctional officer; W. Hayward, correctional officer; F. Braswell, correctional officer; and A. Olivas, correctional officer. (Pl.'s Compl. ¶¶ 4-33.)

Plaintiff also names in the caption of his complaint the following defendants: Mason, investigative agent; J. Keener, correctional lieutenant; S. Dehlert, correctional sergeant; A. Trujillo, correctional sergeant; M. Hodge-Wilkins, facility captain for Inmate Appeal Branch; Poblete, medical technical assistant; J. Kim, medical doctor; B. Silva, OSSI mail room supervisor; D. Coombs, sergeant; and John Doe correctional officer (listed as "unknown white C/O"). Plaintiff also lists L. Billiou, Issac, and Pina as defendants in the body of his complaint. (Pl.'s Compl. ¶¶ 38, 79.)

Plaintiff alleges violations of the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment, as well as violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA").

Plaintiff requests as relief monetary damages, declaratory judgment, unspecified preliminary injunctive relief, and initiation of federal criminal proceedings.

C. Plaintiff's Claims

1. Prison File

Plaintiff alleges that on September 2, 2004, defendants D. Ortiz, A. Diaz, and L. Billiou, members of institutional classification committee ("ICC") maintained false and inaccurate prison records which indicated that Plaintiff had been arrested for crimes against a minor. (Doc. 1, Pl.'s Compl. ¶¶ 38-40.) Plaintiff alleges that Ortiz, Diaz, and Billiou restricted Plaintiff's visitation rights with his minor child, and threatened physical violence against Plaintiff if he should file an inmate appeal. (Compl. ¶¶ 38, 41.) Plaintiff alleges that defendants Lockyer, Santos, Woodford, and Scribner should have kept an accurate record of Plaintiff's convictions in his prison file. (Compl. ¶ 40.)

The Due Process Clause protects prisoners from being deprived of liberty without due process of law. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556 (1974). In order to state a cause of action for deprivation of procedural due process, a plaintiff must first establish the existence of a liberty interest for which the protection is sought. Liberty interests may arise from the Due Process Clause itself or from state law. Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 466-68 (1983). "The denial of prison access to a particular visitor 'is well within the terms of confinement ordinarily contemplated by a prison sentence,' and therefore is not independently protected by the Due Process Clause." Kentucky Dep't of Corr. v. Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 460 (1989) (quoting Hewitt, 459 U.S. ...

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