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Jeffery Sebastian Grandison v. M. Stainer

July 30, 2012

JEFFERY SEBASTIAN GRANDISON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. STAINER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE (ECF No. 21) PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE IN THIRTY (30) DAYS SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 31, 2011, Plaintiff Jeffery Sebastian Grandison, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 4.) On May 25, 2012, Plaintiff's Complaint was screened and dismissed, with leave to amend, for failure to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 17.) Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 21) is now before the Court for screening.

II. 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, malicious," or 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).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

III. SUMMARY OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

The First Amended Complaint names the following individuals as Defendants: (1) M. Stainer, Warden, Tehachapi Correctional Institution (Tehachapi); (2) CCII E. Stelter, Institutional Classification Committee (ICC) Organizer; and (3) CCI Pierce, 4B Counselor.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

On September 19, 1994, Plaintiff was charged with sexual misconduct involving a female correctional officer. (Compl. at 9, 11.) No criminal charges were filed. At a Security Housing Unit hearing on March 30, 2011, Defendant Pierce recommended that an "R" suffix be applied to Plaintiff's custody level because of the single past incident of misconduct.*fn1 (Id. at 4.) Warden Stainer was present at the hearing and congratulated Defendant Pierce on his decision, stating "'I did not think you had it in you.'" Plaintiff interrupted, stating that the relationship between himself and the female officer was consensual. Defendant Stainer then indicated that the female officer at issue was his wife. Reading from the incident report, Stainer stated that his wife refused Plaintiff three times. (Id.)

Plaintiff's classification was reviewed at a hearing on April 28, 2011. Defendant Stelter approved the "R" suffix classification without providing Plaintiff an explanation of the justifications. (Id.) According to California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Section 3377.1(b), the "R" suffix designation is reserved for inmates convicted of violating any one of the sex related offenses enumerated in California Penal Code Section 290. Plaintiff has no criminal convictions for a sex offense. (Id.) Stelter considered people as "subjects" and "was 'not indifferent' toward [Plaintiff]" during the hearing. (Id. at 3, 4.)

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has a system-wide security problem associated with the "R" suffix classification. Inmates with the designation are frequently the targets of "hate crimes" perpetrated by inmates and prison staff. The "R" classification is applied to all sex crimes and does not distinguish the worst offenders such as molesters or rapists. (Id. at 3.) "A 'R' suffix has the discomfort of an unnecessary lingering threat and hardship of non-conviction restraints on [Plaintiff's] liberty." (Id.) The designation also precludes Plaintiff from being considered for lower security facilities. (Id.)

Plaintiff does not specifically identify the federal right allegedly violated by the Defendants. The initial complaint primarily alleged a violation of Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. Because the factual allegations in the First Amended Complaint are substantively identical to those put forth in the original complaint, the Court ...


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