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Ransom v. Johnson

May 25, 2010

BRYAN E. RANSOM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. JOHNSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REINSTATING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION ON COURT'S CALENDAR (Doc. 178.)

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, RECOMMENDING THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION BE DENIED (Doc. 178.)

OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE IN 30 DAYS

I. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Bryan Ransom ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on January 21, 2005. (Doc. 1.) This action now proceeds on the amended complaint filed by Plaintiff on August 30, 2005, against defendants Adams, Alameida, Atkinson, Bennett, Bremner, Burruel, Cabral, Canton, Carey, Case, Cheema, DeGroot, Diggs, Diaz, Duran, Flores, Garcia, Hulsey, Johnson, Jones, Kalvelage, Lankford, L'Etoile, Madreno, Mayo, McDowell, Meske, Pear, Pina, Pliler, Rosario, Santos, Scribner, Tennison, Vance, and Williams,*fn1 on Plaintiff's claims for violation of his rights under the United States Constitution.*fn2 (Doc. 8.)

On December 19, 2008, Plaintiff filed a motion for summary adjudication against defendants B. DeGroot, J. Diggs, M. Kalvelage, and D. Lankford ("Defendants") for violations of due process. (Docs. 178-180.) On March 6, 2009, Defendants filed an opposition to the motion. (Doc. 187.) On May 14, 2009, Plaintiff filed a reply to the opposition. (Docs. 204, 205.) On August 20, 2009, the court vacated Plaintiff's motion for summary adjudication from the court's calendar pending submission of defendants' motion to dismiss. (Doc. 212.) Defendants' motion to dismiss has since been vacated from the court's calendar, and other dispositive motions remain pending in this action. At this juncture, in the interest of moving toward resolution of this action, the court shall reinstate Plaintiff's motion for summary adjudication on the court's calendar for immediate consideration.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when it is demonstrated that there exists no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Under summary judgment practice, the moving party

[A]lways bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). It is the moving party's burden to establish that there exists no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. British Airways Board v. Boeing Co., 585 F.2d 946, 951 (9th Cir. 1978). "When the moving party does not have the burden of proof on the issue, he need show only that the opponent cannot sustain his burden at trial." Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986) (quoting from W. Schwarzer, Summary Judgment Under the Federal Rules: Defining Issues of Material Fact, 99 F.R.D. 465, 487 (1984)). "But where the moving party has the burden - the plaintiff on a claim for relief or the defendant on an affirmative defense - his showing must be sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party." Id. Here, Plaintiff must demonstrate there is no triable issue as to the matters alleged in the amended complaint against Defendants for violation of his rights to due process. Id. This requires Plaintiff to establish beyond controversy every essential element of his claim. Houghton v. South, 965 F.2d 1532, 1536 (9th Cir. 1992); Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780 F.2d 1190, 1194 (5th Cir. 1986). Plaintiff's evidence is judged by the same standard of proof applicable at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986).

The parties bear the burden of supporting their motions and oppositions with the papers they wish the court to consider and/or by specifically referring to any other portions of the record they wish the court to consider. Carmen v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001). The court will not undertake to mine the record for triable issues of fact. Id.

III. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

A. Allegations Against Defendants B. DeGroot, J. Diggs, M. Kalvelage, and D. Lankford for Violations of Due Process

At the time of the events at issue, Defendants were members of the Departmental Review Board ("DRB"), all employed at the headquarters of the California Department of Corrections ("CDC"). In the amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on January 10, 2002, Defendants granted a request by the classification committee at California State Prison-Sacramento ("CSP-Sac") to assess Plaintiff with an indeterminate Security Housing Unit ("SHU") term, and ordered Plaintiff's transfer to the SHU at CSP-Corcoran ("CSP-COR"). Plaintiff alleges that he was not provided with notice or an opportunity to be heard and that he does not meet the criteria for indeterminate SHU placement.

IV. UNDISPUTED FACTS

A. Plaintiff's Submitted the Following as his Claimed Undisputed Facts

1. Defendants B. DeGroot, J. Diggs, M. Kalvelage and D. Lankford are Departmental Review Board (DRB) members.*fn3

2. On January 10, 2002, Defendants designated Plaintiff's case as a "DRB Transfer Control" case.

3. The DRB is the sole prison official having charge with deciding whether to transfer a prisoner whose case is ...


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