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George Hamilton v. Edmund G. Brown Jr

January 4, 2011

GEORGE HAMILTON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.,*FN1 ATTORNEY GENERAL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California DC No.CV 04-5929 NVW Neil V. Wake, District Judge, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Tashima, Circuit Judge

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Submitted December 10, 2010*fn2 San Francisco, California

Before: Robert E. Cowen,*fn3 A. Wallace Tashima, and Barry G. Silverman, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge Tashima.

OPINION

We must decide whether California state prison inmates constitutionally may be required to provide blood samples for DNA identification under California's DNA and Forensic Identification Database and Data Bank Act of 1998, as amended, Cal. Pen. Code § 295 et seq. (the "Act" or the "California DNA Act"). Pro se plaintiff George Hamilton, a California state prison inmate, alleges that prison officials forcibly extracted a blood sample for DNA identification without his consent. He contends that this violated his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and under California state law. The district court dismissed Hamilton's second amended complaint ("SAC") with prejudice.*fn4 This appeal followed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.

BACKGROUND

A. Hamilton's allegations*fn5

Hamilton is serving a sentence of thirty-nine years to life in state prison. He alleges that, on October 7, 2003, Corcoran State Prison guards attempted to break his arm in retaliation for his trouble-making, which included filing complaints against prison officials, accusing them of corruption, and helping a legally-blind fellow inmate to file a lawsuit against prison officials. The day after that incident, the same prison guards escorted Hamilton to the prison medical clinic and demanded that Hamilton provide a blood sample for DNA analysis. Hamilton refused on the grounds that he did not receive a written notice or proof of a valid court order. Hamilton alleges that defendants' true motive in collecting a blood sample was to "set him up" in retaliation for his complaints.

After Hamilton's refusal, he received a notice stating that blood sample collection is authorized by Cal. Penal Code § 296. The notice also stated: "ON 10/8/03 YOU WERE INFORMED OF YOUR REQUIREMENT TO SUBMIT AND YOU REFUSED. AS A RESULT, YOU ARE NOW SUBJECT TO USE OF FORCE." In response, Hamilton wrote to various state and federal officials to inform them that he was "the victim of malicious and excessive force," and that prison officials were trying to force him to turn over a blood sample without proper written notice or a "bona fide court order."

On November 17, 2003, Hamilton received a medical pass, allowing him to visit the prison hospital the next day for what he thought was a podiatry appointment. The next day, defendant M. Jost came to Hamilton's cell, handcuffed him and escorted him to the medical clinic. When Hamilton arrived, defendants Sgt. E. Lawton, M. Chapman, a medical assistant, and a nurse demanded that he provide a blood sample. When he refused, the defendants exerted force. They strapped Hamilton, still handcuffed, into a chair and extracted a blood sample. On the prison's record of Hamilton's visit to the medical clinic, Hamilton wrote, "My DNA was taken against my will, under deception, fraud, force and fear, while I was handcuffed."

B. Procedural History

In his complaint, Hamilton named the state Attorney General, a State Senator, and Does 1-100, identified as personnel of the state's Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank, as defendants. Reviewing Hamilton's complaint pursuant to the PLRA, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,*fn6 the magistrate judge dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. The court explained that Hamilton "must link each named defendant with some affirmative act or omission that demonstrates a violation of plaintiff's federal rights." In addition, the court explained that Hamilton could not pursue a claim for damages against the Attorney General in his official capacity.

Hamilton then filed an amended complaint, which the magistrate judge again dismissed with leave to amend. The court explained that Hamilton again failed to link his claims to any named defendant or any Doe defendant. The order reiterated that the Attorney General could not be sued for damages in his official capacity. Hamilton was instructed that he was required to demonstrate in the Second Amended Complaint how the conditions complained of resulted in a deprivation of his constitutional rights. [Citation omitted.] The Second Amended Complaint must specifically state how each Defendant is involved. Further, there ...


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