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Martin Mclaughlin v. T. Felker

November 15, 2011

MARTIN MCLAUGHLIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
T. FELKER, M.D. MCDONALD, S. ARMOSKUS, R.K. WONG, R. JOHNSON, C. ADAMS, C.F. BOLLS, K. STAFFORD, G. MARSHALL, PERRY, STATTI,
R. MARQUEZ, MINNICK, R. KEMP, D. DANGLER, AND C.J. SPIRK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert H. Whaley United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

On April 18, 2008, Plaintiff filed a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is an inmate in the California State Prison, Corcoran, California. Plaintiff contends that his civil rights were violated by prison officials at the High Desert State Prison, in Susanville, California. The Court conducted a preliminary review pursuant to § 1915(A) and ordered that Defendants be served.

Defendants now move to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

MOTION STANDARD

To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), Plaintiff's complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqubal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). The Court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in Plaintiff's favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 341-42 (9th Cir. 2010). Although factual allegations contained in the complaint are taken as true, the court need not credit legal conclusions. Maya v. Centex Corp., 658 F.3d 1060 (9th Cir. 2011).

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. In addition, to state a valid constitutional claim, a plaintiff must allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of the conduct of a particular defendant, and he must allege an affirmative link between the injury and the conduct of that defendant. Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976).

Plaintiff is asserting five claims: (1) retaliation; (2) cruel and unusual punishment; (3) violation of due process; (4) denial of equal protection; and (5) emotional distress.

BACKGROUND FACTS

In addition to his Complaint, Plaintiff filed over fifty pages of exhibits. The following background facts are taken from the Complaint and exhibits.

The underlying basis for Plaintiff's complaint is that he was falsely accused of conspiracy to murder staff. Plaintiff asserts that this was because he had previously filed grievances alleging that the administration and staff at the High Desert State Prison (HDSP) discriminated against Black inmates.

During the time in question, Plaintiff was housed in Facility C at HDSP, which had an extensive history of violence between black and white inmate populations. On June 17, 2003, white inmates attacked black inmates on Facility

C. Following the riot, Facility C was placed in lockdown. In September, 2003, an incremental unlock process was attempted in order to return the facility to normal program. The unlock proved unsuccessful when the black inmates attacked white inmates in retaliation. The Facility was again placed in lockdown status, after which the Warden approved a Controlled Release program. The program permitted the controlled release of inmates back into normal program. However, after the interview and classification process of the Controlled Release program was underway and eligible inmates were cleared by the Unite Classification Committee, Facility C was placed in lockdown in order to complete institutional-wide searches.

During this time, Plaintiff filed numerous Inmate Appeals. On July 12, 2003, Plaintiff filed an Inmate Appeal in which he asserted that the administration of HDSP and the Facility C staff discriminated against the Black inmates. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that the administration and staff knew about the impending assault by white inmates on black inmates and purposely searched the Black inmates in order to take their weapons so that they could not have them on the yard, and they imposed an "anger management program" and placed Black inmates on lockdown status who were not involved in the Black/White riot that occurred on Facility C, Yard #2. Plaintiff requested that the non-involved Black inmates be returned to normal program without further discrimination by HDSP administration and that there be no reprisals for filing the grievance.*fn1

On March 14, 2004, Plaintiff wrote a letter to Director J. Woodford in which he alleged that the administration of HDSP has aided and abetted racial violence and discrimination between inmates. He also asserted that Inmate Appears were being screened out and thrown away to discourage inmates from challenging such issues.*fn2 On June 9, 2004, Plaintiff filed an Appeal in which he asserted that he was being discriminated against because he has not received the privileges afforded inmates in his current housing and classification status. In January, 2005, Plaintiff filed an ...


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