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Sean E. Brazil v. P. Brightwell

August 10, 2011

SEAN E. BRAZIL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
P. BRIGHTWELL, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

SCREENING ORDER (ECF No. 1) CLERK SHALL CLOSE THE CASE

Plaintiff Sean E. Brazil ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff filed this action on September 27, 2010. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has consented to jurisdiction by a Magistrate Judge. (ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff's Complaint is currently before the Court for screening.

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

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, ___ U.S. ___, 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). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.

II. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

When Plaintiff initiated this action and filed the instant motion, he was housed at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran, California ("SATF"). (Complaint, ECF No. 1). Plaintiff has named the following individuals as defendants: 1) P. Brightwell, Correctional Counselor, 2) P.A. Jackson, Captain, 3) K. Allison, SATF Warden, and 4) R. Hall, Appeals Coordinator.

Plaintiff alleges as follows:

Plaintiff arrived at SATF on June 6, 2010, and soon thereafter was assigned a counselor.*fn1 Plaintiff informed the counselor that he wished to waive his right to appear in person at his initial classification hearing. On June 17, 2010, Plaintiff's counselor informed Plaintiff that he had been ordered by Defendant Brightwell to disregard Plaintiff's request. Plaintiff continued to assert that he did not wish to appear in person at the hearing.

At the time of the hearing, Plaintiff was cuffed by prison officers at the direction of Defendant Brightwell and taken to his classification hearing in his underwear and shoes. Plaintiff was allowed to leave the hearing once someone reviewed the California Code of Regulations and found that Plaintiff was allowed to waive his right to appear at the hearing.

Following the classification hearing, Plaintiff tried to have his perceived injuries, described above, addressed through the prison grievance process. Plaintiff filed an appeal in which he complained of Defendant Brightwell's acts. Defendant Brightwell acknowledged that she had read Plaintiff's waiver request and nevertheless required Plaintiff to attend the hearing. At the first level appeal, on July 27, 2010, Plaintiff was interviewed by Defendant Jackson. In his written decision, Defendant Jackson refused to sanction Defendant Brightwell and found that Plaintiff was correctly ordered to attend the hearing to learn about program expectations.

Plaintiff's second level appeals also failed. On August 18, 2010, Defendant Hall screened out Plaintiff's appeal for failing to attach a form. Defendant obtained the form and on September 9, 2010, again sent in his appeal; it too was denied for failing to attach the same form. Plaintiff then appealed a third time. This appeal was denied because too much time had elapsed between filings.

Plaintiff also contacted Defendant Allison to request that she censure Defendant Brightwell. Defendant Allison ...


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