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Michael Reed Dorrough v. S. Hubbard

December 16, 2011

MICHAEL REED DORROUGH,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
S. HUBBARD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND

Screening Order

I. Background

Plaintiff Michael Reed Dorrough ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his complaint on February 2, 2011.

On August 10, 2011, the Court issued a screening order dismissing the complaint with leave to amend. The Court found that Plaintiff had not stated any cognizable claims.

Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint on September 7, 2011.

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 Atl. 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.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary of Complaint

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison ("CSP"), where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names Chief Deputy Warden R. Davis, Correctional Counselor II R. Chavez, Associate Warden of the security housing unit ("SHU") M. Jennings, and Appeals Examiner D. Foston as Defendants.

According to the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff has been housed in the SHU for non-disciplinary reasons for 23 years. He states that he does not challenge the validity of his classification as a validated prison gang member in this action.

Plaintiff explains that he has been subject to "long term isolation and the most extreme restrictive policies as a result of his housing." Specifically, he argues that he does not have access to any meaningful programs, and that as a matter of policy, he is required to be provided with a program in a non-SHU, non-general population. He also contends that his continued housing in isolation violates CDCR's Rules and Regulations, which prohibit SHU housing unless the prisoner had been charged with committing two or more illegal acts or serious acts of misconduct.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are aware of these rules and policies. He contends that Defendants Jennings, Davis, Chavez and Foston were responsible for reviewing the 602 appeal on these issues and could have resolved the issues.

Plaintiff alleges that he has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in freedom from administrative segregation and freedom from the resulting psychological harm. Plaintiff contends that his long-term isolation has caused his depression. He alleges that his continued retention in isolation, where he has not committed any illegal ...


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