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Reginald D. Miller v. Matthew Cate

September 23, 2011

REGINALD D. MILLER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MATTHEW CATE, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION R E C O M M E N D I N G G R A N T I N G DEFENDANTS ALLENBY, AHLIN, OWENS, AND SREENIVASAN'S MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF No. 15)

OBJECTIONS DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FINDING AND RECOMMENDATIONS

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Reginald D. Miller ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff originally filed this action in state court. Defendant Giurbino removed it to federal court on July 1, 2011. (ECF No. 2.)

Pending before the Court is Defendants', Allenby*fn1 , Ahlin, Owens, and Sreenivasan, Motion to Dismiss filed July 15, 2011. (ECF No. 15.) Plaintiff filed his response on July 29, 2011, Defendants replied on August 5, 2011, and Plaintiff filed a surrepy on August 18, 2011.*fn2 (ECF Nos. 25, 31, & 43.)

II. LEGAL STANDARD

"The focus of any Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal . . . is the complaint," Schneider v. California Dept. of Corr., 151 F.3d 1194, 1197 n.1 (9th Cir. 1998), which 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). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

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," Iqbal at 1949 (citing Twombly at 555), and courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences," Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

III. COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS AS RELATED TO DEFENDANTS ALLENBY, AHLIN, OWENS, AND SREENIVASAN

In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his rights to Equal Protection and Due Process in relation to his screening under the Sexually Violent Predator Act ("SVPA"). Plaintiff also makes several statements that all Defendants were conspiring to violate his rights.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Allenby, executive director of the California Department of Mental Health ("DMH"), failed to develop, implement, and annually update a "structured screening instrument" to be used by staff members of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") during the SVPA screening process. (ECF No. 2, p. 16.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Allenby failed to develop, adopt, and implement a "standardized assessment protocol and evaluator's handbook" to be used by evaluators during the SVPA screening process. (Id.) Plaintiff states that a handbook was eventually created, however, it was not promulgated in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act. (Id.)

Plaintiff states that Defendants Owens and Sreenivasan, who are both psychologists, performed Plaintiff's initial SVPA screening. (ECF No. 2, p. 17.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants used the improperly promulgated handbook during the screening, which violated his right to equal protection and due process. (Id.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants knew or should have known that the handbook was improperly created, had not been peer-reviewed, and did not have the support of the discipline. (Id.) Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants Owens and Sreenivasan lack medical degrees and are not legally authorized to make psychiatric diagnoses or recommend treatment. (Id. at 17-18.) Plaintiff claims that Defendants merely perform "paper screenings" for significant monetary gain.*fn3 (Id. at 18.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Ahlin, executive director of Coalinga State Hospital, failed to ensure that Coalinga State Hospital was in compliance with federal and state laws. (ECF No. 2, p. 20.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Ahlin was aware of the deficiencies within the DMH and the SVPA screening process, but failed to take any action. (Id.)

IV. ARGUMENTS

Defendants argue that their Motion to Dismiss should be sustained on two grounds. First, Plaintiff's entire amended complaint is not ripe for immediate judicial review because his civil commitment determination is still pending in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Second, Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable claim because he challenges the Superior Court's probable cause determinations, which is barred by Heck v. Humphry, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).*fn4 As to the first argument, Defendants contend that any judicial resolution in this matter would be speculative and advisory because the complete facts ...


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