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Tomas R. Guillen v. M. Fox

March 25, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge


(ECF No. 20)


Plaintiff Tomas R. Guillen ("Plaintiff") is an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on July 25, 2003. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's original Complaint was dismissed with leave to amend on February 12, 2009. (ECF No. 13.) Plaintiff failed to amend and the action was dismissed on April 21, 2009. (ECF Nos. 14 & 15.) On May 18, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration and requested permission to file an amended complaint. The Court reopened the case, and Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint on March 2, 2010. (ECF Nos. 10 & 20.) No other parties have appeared. Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is now before this Court for screening.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.


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).

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). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.


Plaintiff brings this action for. Plaintiff sues the following individuals for retaliation and conspiracy: M. Fox, Facility Captain; K. Mahaney, Correctional Lieutenant; J. S. Frohrich, Investigative Services Unit ("ISU"); C. McCreedy, Sergeant; A. Ailanjian, Correctional Officer; R. Bird, Lieutenant; P. Rawlinson, Lieutenant for ISU; A. Dennis, Correctional Officer for ISU; and John Does 1-10. All Defendants were employed at Sierra Conservation Center ("SCC") during the events in question.

Plaintiff alleges as follows: In January 2001, a riot occurred at SCC between southern Hispanic inmates and black inmates. Interviews of the inmates were conducted afterward. During his interview, Plaintiff was asked by Defendants Fox and Mahaney if he would act as a mediator between the two groups to promote peace and stabilize the yard. Defendants promised to reward Plaintiff if he cooperated. Plaintiff refused the offer.

On February 25, 2001, Plaintiff's cell was searched by Defendant Ailanjian. Plaintiff was given a CDC-115 violation for possessing contraband and placed in administrative segregation ("ad-seg"). On March 10, 2001, a hearing for the contraband charge was held by Defendant Mahaney. Mahaney told Plaintiff that if he would just cooperate and act as a mediator, the charge would disappear. Plaintiff initially refused, but was then pressured into complying. Plaintiff mediated between black inmates and southern Hispanic inmates. The CDC-115 violation ended up being dismissed.

In April 2001, Plaintiff explained his situation and that he wanted to quit being a mediator, and asked Defendant Frohrich and two other officers for a transfer. Plaintiff was scheduled to transfer on July 27, 2001. On July 25, 2001, Plaintiff's cell was searched and the officers conducting the search claimed to have found heroin. Plaintiff received a CDC-115 for possession of heroin.*fn1

In August 2001, another riot occurred. Fox and Mahaney asked Plaintiff to mediate and said that his possession of heroin charge would disappear if he did. Plaintiff complied under duress. In March 2002, Plaintiff requested and was accepted into the substance abuse program ("SAP") at SCC. Fox repeatedly requested that Plaintiff be excused from the program so he could act as mediator again. These requests were denied.

Plaintiff was injured by a southern Hispanic inmate on August 17, 2002, and placed in ad-seg because of the assault. Fox released Plaintiff from ad-seg and removed him from the SAP program. Plaintiff was then placed back in the SAP program by another official, and removed again by Fox. Finally, Plaintiff was placed in ad-seg for his own protection.

Plaintiff seeks declaratory, preliminary, and permanent injunctions, compensatory and punitive damages, a jury trial, and costs.


The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:

Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an ...

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