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Ed Dwayne Smith v. Susan L. Hubbard

March 8, 2012

ED DWAYNE SMITH,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUSAN L. HUBBARD, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983 (Doc. 15) THIRTY-DAY OBJECTION DEADLINE

Findings and Recommendations Following Screening of Amended Complaint

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Ed Dwayne Smith, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 19, 2010. On April 8, 2011, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint, with leave to amend, for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on May 2, 2011.

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, 556 U.S. 662, __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, 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).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now higher, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), and to survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Discussion

A. Summary of Allegations

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison, brings this action against Correctional Officers E. Felix and F. Field; Lieutenant G. Tracy; Associate Warden R. Lopez; and Appeals Coordinators J. Jones and Hicinboton for violating his rights in 2007 and 2008 while he was housed at California State Prison-Corcoran. Based on Plaintiff's allegations, which are summarized in the following paragraphs, it appears that Plaintiff is alleging claims for violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and for violation of the Eighth Amendment.

On January 19, 2007, inmate Waltower was murdered at CSP-Corcoran. On July 18, 2007, Defendant Felix, using false information, had Plaintiff removed from general population during the course of the investigation into inmate Waltower's murder. Removal from general population deprived Plaintiff of the privileges he had been earning as a result of his work/activity group.

On July 31, 2007, Defendant Felix gave Plaintiff a confidential informant disclosure form, which Felix had authored and which contained false information. On September 12, 2007, Defendant Felix gave Plaintiff another confidential disclosure form, which set forth the sole evidence used to charge Plaintiff with murder.

In September 2007, Defendant Field, relying on false statements, signed off on the order retaining Plaintiff in administrative segregation.

On November 6, 2007, M. Ledesma, a classification services representative, "produced" a classification chrono which stated that Defendant Felix had authored a confidential memorandum on July 26, 2007, noting three confidential informants. (Amend. Comp., court record p. 4.) The confidential memorandum was placed in Plaintiff's central file.

On January 24, 2008, in front of a television camera, Defendant Field disregarded a case counselor's statement that Plaintiff had nothing to do with the first and second confidential informants' statements, and he followed Plaintiff to Plaintiff's cell in order to ensure that Plaintiff's rules violation report (RVR) was finalized and heard that day. On the same day, Defendant Lopez signed off ...


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