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Thomas A. Haney v. Warden

March 28, 2011


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




Plaintiff Thomas A. Haney ("Plaintiff") is an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP") in Coalinga, California, 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 October 21, 2009. (ECF No. 1.) No other parties have appeared. Plaintiff's 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 retaliation and violation of his due process rights. He sues two distinct groups of Defendants at two different facilities.

First, Plaintiff names as Defendants the following individuals who were employed at Corcoran State Prison ("CSP") at the time of the incident for which he seeks to sue them: Ken Clark, Warden; F. Fields, Lieutenant Commander; S. Ramirez, Visiting Lieutenant; R. Roberson, Visiting Lieutenant; M. Crouch, Visiting Sergeant; F. Ramirez, Visiting Staff C/O; R. Brannum, Visiting Staff C/O; Twitty, ISU Sergeant; A. R. Shiloh, ISU Sergeant #2; M. Padilla, ISU Staff C/O; A. Bernal, ISU Staff C/O; Gonzalez, ISU Staff C/O; W. S. Wadkins, Yard Lieutenant; D. James, Yard Lieutenant; Gonzalez, Yard Sergeant; S. Ballesteos, Yard Staff C/O; C. Lane, Yard Staff C/O; L. Webb, CCI Counselor; L. Smart, CCII Counselor; E. McCant, CCII Counselor; Benninghoff, Attorney; and Adam Nelson, District Attorney.

Plaintiff also sues the following individuals who were employees at Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) at the time of the alleged wrongs: J. Moss, Regional Director; J. Yates, Warden; J. M. Mattingly, Chief Deputy Warden (A); R. Hansen, Chief Deputy Warden (A); D. Nelson, Visiting Lieutenant; Webster, Visiting Lieutenant; W. K. Myers, Visiting Lieutenant; V. Carr, Visiting Sergeant; C. Barajas, Visiting Staff C/O; Timm, Visiting Staff C/O; J. Lopez, ISU Sergeant; R. Milam, ISU Staff C/O; and D. Thompson, ISU Staff C/O.

1. Count One (CSP)

Plaintiff alleges as follows: On June 6, 2004, Defendant Ballesteos was working in the visiting room at CSP. She repeatedly terminated Plaintiff's visits. This lead to many verbal confrontations between them. Plaintiff filed a personal complaint. Defendant Ballesteos advised other prison officials of Plaintiff's complaints and litigation. As a result other Defendants rataliated against Plaintiff and his family as discussed below.

On July 12, 2005, Plaintiff's cell was searched by Defendants Bernal, Gonzalez, and Lane. A red balloon of heroin was found. Plaintiff claimed that it belonged to his cellmate.

On October 15, 2005, Plaintiff's visit with his family was terminated by Defendant Brannum who claimed to have seen Plaintiff's wife and child hand Plaintiff something which Plaintiff then hid.*fn1 Brannum handcuffed Plaintiff and took him to contraband watch where he stayed until October 18. Contraband was never found, but Plaintiff was placed in administrative segregation ("ad-seg") anyway.

On December 22, 2005, Plaintiff received a false CDC 115 for possession. The same prison officers were involved as in the cell search in July.

On December 19, 2005, a correctional counselor filed a 1030 form*fn2 and claimed he didn't remember who the confidential informant was. At the hearing regarding the Form 1030, the hearing officer, Defendant James, found Plaintiff guilty on all charges. Plaintiff filed complaints on Defendant Ramirez for coming to ad-seg for her "personnell" complaint and on Defendant Brannum for lying about Plaintiff and his family.

At some point unspecified by Plaintiff, Defendant Ramirez told Plaintiff that he would remove Plaintiff's wife and children from visiting forever if he did not stop filing reports on officers.

2. Counts Two and Three_(PVSP)

On June 2, 2007, Plaintiff's wife attempted to visit him. She was turned away by Defendant Nelson who informed her that her visitation rights had been disapproved by CSP. Plaintiff's wife filed an appeal. Defendant Mattingly responded by noting that Plaintiff's wife was a disapproved visitor. He directed all questions to Defendant Nelson. More appeals were filed on July 11, 2007. The response said that more time was needed to investigate. Another appeal was filed on July 4; no answer was received. An appeal was filed on September 11, 2007. Finally, on December 22, 2007, Plaintiff's wife was approved for visitation.

On March 23, 2008, Plaintiff asked Defendant Barajas if he could have a picture taken of Plaintiff and his wife kissing. Barajas agreed but then took the photograph as contraband. Plaintiff filed a complaint.

On March 28, 2008, Plaintiff was called to the podium in the visitor's room for allegedly spanking his wife. His visits were then terminated until April 28, 2008. Plaintiff appealed. His appeal was screened out.

On July 4, 2008, one of Plaintiff's children thought she lost something in the visitor's restroom and asked Defendant Timms if any money had been turned in. Defendant Timms had Plaintiff's visits terminated for sixty days. ...

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