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Robert Villa, Cdcr #J-21973 v. D. Paramo; J. Hill; J. Burgos

August 10, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States District Judge Hon. Irma E. Gonzalez



Robert Villa ("Plaintiff"), currently incarcerated at the California Correctional Institution located in Tehachapi, California, is proceeding in pro se and in forma pauperis ("IFP") in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss a portion of the claims found in Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("FAC") pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 32). Plaintiff has filed an Opposition to Defendants' Motion. (ECF No. 34.) The Court has determined that Defendant's Motion is suitable for disposition upon the papers without oral argument and that no Report and Recommendation from Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler is necessary. See S.D. CAL. CIVLR 7.1(d)(1), 72.3(e).

II. Factual Allegations*fn1

Plaintiff was incarcerated at Centinela State Prison ("CEN") in February and March of 2010. (See FAC at 1.) On February 9, 2010, Plaintiff was placed in Administrative Segregation ("Ad-Seg") by Defendant Hill pending an investigation into whether Plaintiff was affiliated with the prison's Mexican Mafia. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff appeared before the Institutional Classification Committee ("ICC") on February 19, 2010, which was chaired by Defendant Paramo, for initial review of his classification. (Id.) It was determined that Plaintiff would continue to remain in Ad-Seg pending the completion of the investigation into his alleged gang affiliation. (Id.) Defendant Paramo informed Plaintiff that the staff performing the investigation requested that Plaintiff be retained in Ad-Seg for up to 180 days in order that they may complete the investigation. (Id.) Plaintiff informed Defendant Paramo that his central file would demonstrate that he had no gang affiliation. (Id.)

On February 23, 2010, Defendants Burgos and Sandoval returned Plaintiff's property that was confiscated when Plaintiff was sent to Ad-Seg on February 9, 2010. (Id. at 7.) Later that evening, Plaintiff was served with a Rules Violation Report ("RVR") by Correctional Officer Easler who said to Plaintiff "ISU wrote you up Villa." (Id.)

Plaintiff was in the prison law library on March 5, 2010, along with inmates Jones, Encalade and Herrera. (Id.). Inmate Encalade asked the prison law librarian, Correctional Officer Trevino, if he could request assistance from another inmate to submit an administrative grievance. (Id.) Trevino informed Encalade that it was permissible for Plaintiff to assist Encalade. Encalade handed his envelope with his paperwork to Trevino for inspection and Trevino "searched the envelope for any contraband or gang related material before handing Plaintiff the envelope in order for him to assist Encalade with his 602 appeal." (Id.) A few days later, on March 20, 2010, Defendants Hill, Burgos and Sandoval interviewed Plaintiff with regard to the gang investigation. (Id. at 7-8.) Defendants Hill, Burgos and Sandoval informed Plaintiff they had insufficient evidence to retain him in Ad-Seg and they only had "two (2) source points." (Id. at 8.) In order to be retained in Ad-Seg, Defendants would need three "source points" that tied Plaintiff to gang related activities. (Id.) Defendant Hill refused to tell Plaintiff what the source points were and merely told Plaintiff to "just watch yourself." (Id.)

Following the interview, Plaintiff was escorted to the "dog kennels for yard," during which time Plaintiff's cell was "ransacked" by Defendants Burgos and Sandoval. (Id.) Defendants confiscated the manilla envelope that inmate Encalade had previously given Plaintiff in the law library. (Id.) The next day Defendant Sandoval came to Plaintiff's cell to inform him that they had found gang validation material in the envelope. (Id.) Plaintiff explained that the information in that envelope did not belong to him, he was assisting another inmate in preparing an administrative grievance. (Id.) Defendant Sandoval told Plaintiff he could not assist another prisoner. (Id.) Plaintiff was again placed in Ad-Seg. (Id. at 9.)

Plaintiff submitted an administrative grievance several days later objecting to the rehousing in Ad-Seg and the actions taken by Defendant Sandoval. (Id.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Hill, Burgos and Sandoval retaliated against him for filing this administrative grievance by "serving Plaintiff with a prison gang validation pack." (Id.) Plaintiff claims Defendant Hill stated "no, you don't understand, you guys think your smart, you can't help nobody with a 602." (Id.) On March 24, 2010, Plaintiff received his response to his administrative grievance by Defendant Hill denying his request for release from Ad-Seg. (Id.)

Plaintiff was interviewed on March 25, 2010 with regard to his gang validation proceedings by Defendants Hill and Burgos. (Id. at 10.) Plaintiff informed them that the information they found in the envelope belonged to a different inmate and he requested that they speak with Correctional Officer Trevino who gave Plaintiff permission to retain the envelope to assist the other prisoner. (Id.) Defendants promised to speak to Officer Trevino. (Id.) Later that same day, Plaintiff's RVR hearing was conducted with Lieutenant Rodriguez as the hearing officer. (Id.) Lieutenant Rodriguez read the charges and Plaintiff plead "not guilty." (Id.) Plaintiff told Lieutenant Rodriguez that if he were to read the "primary officer's report from crime scene incident report" he would see that the "allegations are false." (Id.)

After reading the report, Lieutenant Rodriguez made a telephone call to an unknown party and stated "how do you expect me to find Villa guilty when you guys [messed] up?" (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff was escorted outside of the room while Lieutenant Rodriguez and Lieutenant Napolitano conferred in the room. (Id.) Following their discussion, Plaintiff claims Lieutenant Napolitano said "just find [Plaintiff] guilty and let him do the paperwork." (Id.) Ultimately, Lieutenant Rodriquez "found Plaintiff not guilty." (Id.)

Defendants Burgos and Sandoval returned Plaintiff's "validation rebuttal" on April 2, 2010 and informed him that his "rebuttal had no merit." (Id.) Plaintiff inquired as to whether they had ever spoken to Correctional Officer Trevino. (Id. at 12.) They indicated that they had spoken to Correctional Officer Trevino who confirmed Plaintiff's explanation with regard to the envelope that had contained another inmate's gang validation papers. (Id.)

An ICC hearing for Plaintiff was conducted on April 8, 2010, at which time Correctional Officer Galeana noted that Plaintiff's placement in Ad-Seg was against department policy. (Id.) Regardless, Plaintiff's placement in Ad-Seg was extended an additional 120 days to complete the gang investigation. (Id. at 13.) Plaintiff filed another administrative grievance on May 2, 2010, claiming that his placement in Ad-Seg was "unlawful" and he was being retaliated against for helping other inmates file administrative grievances. (Id.)

A few days later on May 6, 2010, Plaintiff appeared before the ICC again. (Id.) The ICC committee consisted of Defendants Paramo and Hill. (Id. at 13-14.) Defendant Hill informed Plaintiff that they had source materials necessary to validate Plaintiff as a gang member. (Id. at 15.) Defendant Hill informed him two of the source materials came from the envelope that Plaintiff received from inmate Escalade but the fourth source material "[Defendant] Tovar put there on his own." (Id. at 16.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Tovar "took it upon himself to place a false confidential memorandum dated 3-3-2010 in Plaintiff's validation pack in concert with Defendants J. Burgos and their agents." (Id.) ...

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