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Moore v. California Dep't of Corrections and Rehabilitation

July 16, 2010


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


(Doc. 1)

Screening Order

Plaintiff Candy Q. Moore, proceeding pro se, filed a six-count complaint for damages on June 28, 2010, alleging eight claims arising from discrimination and other wrongful actions relating to her employment as a registry nurse at Valley State Prison for Women, Chowchilla, California. This matter has been referred to the magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rules 72-302 and 72-304.

I. Screening Requirement

A court has inherent power to control its docket and the disposition of its cases with economy of time and effort for both the court and the parties. Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992). Accordingly, this Court screens all complaints filed by plaintiffs in propria persona to ensure that the action is not frivolous or malicious, that the actions states a claim upon which relief may be granted, and that the complaint does not seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

II. Factual and Procedural Background

Beginning in April 2007, Plaintiff worked as a registry contract nurse at Valley State Prison for Women. Although Plaintiff performed her job responsibilities in "an exemplary manner," Defendant Charles Funch regularly mistreated her, demonstrating racism and gender discrimination. When Plaintiff complained to her supervisor and to the Supplemental Health Care ("SHC") scheduling manager, she was directed to keep quiet since she was a temporary contract worker and Funch was a state employee.

On August 30, 2007, Funch activated his state-issued personal alarm against Plaintiff to prevent her from conducting inmate/patient care. CDCR never notified SHC, as required by their contract. When Plaintiff advised SHC of the incident, it advised her that others had complained about Funch. Defendant Walter Miller had previous notice of Funch's disciplinary problems. Nonetheless, Defendant Curtis Mangrum never interviewed Plaintiff about her allegations nor advised her of her legal or civil rights. SHC did not contact CDCR, although its contract required it to do so.

On September 5, 2007, Funch informed an unidentified supervisor that Plaintiff "was lazy and constantly complaining about the work load."

On September 5, 2007, Defendant Martin received a memo from an unidentified supervisor regarding the alarm incident, which reported Funch's bad behavior, negative attitude, constant yelling, and lying during the investigation.

On October 15, 2007, Funch advised Mangrum that he refused to work with Plaintiff. Beginning on October 16, 2007, Funch repeatedly telephoned his union representative, seeking to have Plaintiff fired. On October 17 and 21, 2007, Funch "bad mouth[ed]" Plaintiff to co-workers, telling them that Plaintiff was lazy, a liar, and had cost him overtime. Funch told Mangrum that "he would not stop until [P]laintiff was fired." On October 22, 2007, Defendant Judy Tucker prohibited Plaintiff from working in the B-yard medical clinic but did not notify SHC as required by contract.

On November 11, 2007, Defendant Marihelen Afonso assigned Plaintiff to a different schedule without warning. Afonso changed no other nurse's schedule nor notified SHC. On November 27, 2007, Defendant Tucker called Plaintiff's residence regarding her October 22, 2007 memo.

Funch filed a grievance against Plaintiff on November 29, 2007, seeking to have her fired. Mangrum, Tucker, and Defendant Dr. Daun Martin granted the grievance but did not notify SHC.

Meanwhile, Funch, who was a probationary employee, was repeatedly disciplined for inappropriate behavior and garnered over 100 (or 900) inmate complaints. Funch was fired in 2008 without passing his probationary period.

On January 4, 2008, Afonso and Tucker accused Plaintiff of threatening them. CDCR notified SHC but never interviewed Plaintiff as required by CDCR policies and procedures. SHC did not interview Plaintiff either. CDCR convened a threat committee meeting on January 8, 2008 without notifying Plaintiff or SHC.

On February 14, 2008, Plaintiff filed a discrimination complaint against Defendants with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("CDFEH"), which issued a right-tosue letter and forwarded Plaintiff's complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). EEOC issued a right-to-sue letter on February 25, 2008, and forwarded the complaint to the Department of Justice on March 30, 2010. The Department of Justice issued a right-to-sue letter on April 14, 2010.

SHC terminated Plaintiff's employment as a result of her filing an EEOC ...

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