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Bejaran v. Adams

November 10, 2009

JESSE EDWARD BEJARAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DERRAL ADAMS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF EITHER TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT OR TO NOTIFY COURT OF WILLINGNESS TO PROCEED ONLY ON CLAIMS FOUND TO BE COGNIZABLE RESPONSE DUE WITHIN 30 DAYS (Doc. 12)

Plaintiff Jesse Edward Bejaran ("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 is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is incarcerated at California State Prison, Corcoran ("CSP-Corcoran"). Plaintiff is suing under section 1983 for the violation of his rights under Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff names Derral Adams (warden), M. Junious (chief deputy warden), Lt. Rodriguez, Sgt. Silva, Sgt. Gomez, J. C. Garcia, CCI Briggs, CCII Rangel, IGI Berna, and IGI Espinoza as defendants. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff will be ordered to notify the Court of his willingness to proceed only on the claims found to be cognizable in this order, or to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies found in his non-cognizable claims.

I. 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).

In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under 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)(2). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

II. Background

A. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed the Original Complaint in this action on March 2, 2009. (Doc. #1.) The Court screened Plaintiff's complaint on July 31, 2009. (Doc. #11.) Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed for failure to state any claims and Plaintiff was given leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint on September 2, 2009. (Doc. #12.) This action proceeds on Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint.

B. Factual Background

On July 20, 2007, Plaintiff arrived at Deuel Vocational Institution - Tracy and told prison officials there that he wished to disassociate himself from the "Nuestra Familia Prison Gang." Plaintiff was placed in administrative segregation pending further review to protect him from other inmates. On July 25, 2007, Plaintiff attended an Institutional Classification Committee ("ICC") meeting and informed prison officials that he had already participated in a "debriefing" in December 2004. The prison officials in attendance acknowledge Plaintiff's "debrief report." Plaintiff was told that he still needed to submit an "autobiography." Plaintiff turned in his autobiography and Plaintiff was cleared for "Integrated Non-Affiliated Yard."

Plaintiff expressed concern about whether his debrief report and autobiography would be in his central file and acknowledged at other prison institutions so that he could continue the "integrated yard program," or "phase two" of the debriefing program immediately after he transferred. Plaintiff was told that the necessary reports and documents were placed in his central file. On February 27, 2008, Plaintiff was transferred to CSP-Corcoran and placed in the "Security Housing Unit" ("SHU"). Plaintiff told the intake sergeant that he was a gang drop-out and already debriefed and submitted an autobiography. Plaintiff also stated that he had safety concerns and should not be housed around active gang members because he was a "high priority target."

Plaintiff was told that the "safety concerns section" of his file was lost and that he would be housed in a building with active gang members. Plaintiff again voiced his safety concerns but was nonetheless placed in the SHU with other active gang members. On March 6, 2008, Plaintiff attended an ICC meeting before Defendant Junious (as well as Bueno and Jennings, who are not named as defendants). Plaintiff told the ICC that he wanted to be removed from his current building because of safety concerns, and that he had gone through the debriefing processes at his last prison. The ICC chose to leave Plaintiff in the same building. Plaintiff was moved to a different building after other inmates tried to harm him. However, Plaintiff's new building also had validated gang members. Plaintiff continued to request a move to a building that did not have active gang members.

Defendant Berna told Plaintiff to submit an autobiography, which Plaintiff did a few days later. Plaintiff later asked Defendant Gomez if his autobiography was approved. Plaintiff was told to submit another autobiography, which was again denied. Plaintiff's third autobiography was accepted on July 23, 2008. Plaintiff was then moved to a building with non-active gang members that were undergoing the debriefing program. Plaintiff alleges that his life was in danger between February 27, 2008 and August 13, 2008, when Plaintiff was housed in a building with active gang members.

In August 2008, Plaintiff again tried to tell the ICC that his debriefing had already been completed but the ICC members, R. Davis, Sgt. Warren, CCI Briggs, Sgt. Gomez, and G. Rangel, refused to acknowledge Plaintiff's debriefing. Plaintiff was told that he would have to complete the debriefing process again. On January 7, 2009, Plaintiff appeared before the ICC again and told Defendant Derral Adams that he had a complete debrief report in his file. Adams told Plaintiff to direct his questions to Lt. Rodriguez. Plaintiff asked why his report was not acknowledged and Rodriguez told Plaintiff to address the issue after the meeting, allegedly to avoid being on the record. Plaintiff then spoke with Defendant Garcia and Espinoza and explained that he already completed his debriefing with Agent Mike Brodie and Detective Perry. Defendant Silva then walked up and declared "I know Agent Brodie" and requested to see Plaintiff's central file. Plaintiff's debrief report was then inexplicably discovered, but Plaintiff was told that because his debriefing was not done at CSP-Corcoran or at Pelican Bay, it would not be acknowledged. Plaintiff complains that there must have been some sort of conspiracy going on because nobody was doing their job and prison officials ...


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