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Peterson v. State

September 14, 2010

SPENCER PETERSON III, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, AND DOES 1-20, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. 5)

Defendant California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation moves to dismiss this case under F.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Plaintiff Spencer Peterson II, appearing pro se, opposes the motion. Both parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge (Docs. 4 and 7). This Court has reviewed the papers and has determined that this matter is suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 78-230(h). Having considered all written materials submitted, the Court dismisses all claims relating to Defendant's 2004 determination not to promote Plaintiff to Correctional Lieutenant, but denies Defendant's motion to dismiss claims relating to its 2009 determination not to promote Plaintiff to Correctional Captain.

I. Procedural and Factual Background Procedural History

Defendant removed this lawsuit to federal district court from California state court on June 23, 2010 (Doc. 1). On June 30, 2010, it moved to dismiss the suit for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted (F.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)).

Alleged Facts

Defendant first employed Plaintiff, who is African-American, on February 9, 1986, at California Medical Facility at Vacaville. Employed at Vacaville until June 1997, Plaintiff maintained "an exemplary and spotless record" and "earn[ed] outstanding and above standards ratings." On July 1, 1997, Plaintiff transferred laterally to the California Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Corcoran, California.

On October 25, 1999, Defendant promoted Plaintiff to Correctional Sergeant. Beginning in March 2004, Plaintiff began to experience racial discrimination. On March 16, 2004, Plaintiff interviewed for promotion to Correctional Lieutenant, was rated "competitive," but did not receive a promotion.

On December 6, 2004, Plaintiff again interviewed for the position of Correctional Lieutenant. Although Plaintiff contends that he performed better than in the earlier interview, the panel rated Plaintiff "noncompetitive." Other candidates who were not African-American were promoted. Plaintiff contends that these candidates were less qualified than Plaintiff.

Plaintiff was promoted to Correctional Lieutenant at a later time. Nonetheless, he contends that the delay in promotion caused injuries and damages.

In April 2009, Plaintiff interviewed for the position of Correctional Captain. The interview panel recommended Plaintiff for promotion. On or about May 1, 2009, Defendant promoted another individual, who was not African-American and who had not participated in the interviews for the position. Plaintiff contends that the he was more qualified for the position than the individual who was promoted to fill it.

On June 2, 2009, Defendant requested approval to promote Plaintiff to the position of Correctional Captain. On January 1, 2010, Plaintiff was promoted to Correctional Captain. Nonetheless, Plaintiff contends that the delay in promotion caused injuries and damages.

II. Discussion

Defendant contends (1) that Plaintiff's claims relating to Defendant's failure to promote him to Correctional Lieutenant in December 2004 are time-barred, and (2) that the complaint does not plead facts sufficient to establish that Plaintiff exhausted his federal and state administrative remedies before seeking relief under federal law. Plaintiff denies that the 2004 claims are time-barred since the parties dismissed the earlier ...


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