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Larry P. Sambrano v. S. Henderson

November 7, 2012

LARRY P. SAMBRANO
PLAINTIFF,
v.
S. HENDERSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN TWENTY-ONE DAYS

I. Procedural History

Larry P. Sambrano ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On July 31, 2012, Plaintiff filed the complaint which is presently before this Court. Doc. 1.

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 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, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it appears beyond doubt that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); see also Synagogue v. United States, 482 F.3d 1058, 1060 (9th Cir. 2007); NL Industries, Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). In determining whether to dismiss an action, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, and construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421-22 (1969); Daniels-Hall v. National Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010).

III. Plaintiff's Complaint

Plaintiff is currently a state prisoner at the California Correctional Institution (CCI) in Tehachapi, California. The events central to Plaintiff's complaint occurred while he was at prisoner at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP). Doc. 1. In the complaint, Plaintiff names the following as a defendants: 1) S. Henderson (Correctional Captain at KVSP); 2) K. Doran (Correctional Captain at KVSP); 3) R. Grissom (Chief Disciplinary Officer at KVSP); and 4) Castro (Warden at KVSP). Doc. 1 at 2. Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief. Doc. 1 at 3.

Plaintiff alleges that on March 25, 2011, that Defendant Henderson in the capacity of hearing officer deliberately acted with malicious prejudice and deprived Plaintiff of his due process right to a fair hearing on the charge of attempted murder. Doc. 1 at 3. On February 25, 2011, Defendant Henderson provided a supplemental report to the charge and then acted as a hearing official on March 25, 2011. Doc. 1 at 3. During the hearing on March 25, 2011, Defendant Henderson falsified a report for the specific purpose of entering corroborating evidence which is a necessary element to support a guilty finding pertaining to the charges based on confidential information. Doc. 1 at 3-4.

According to Plaintiff, Defendant Henderson based his findings on his personal opinion which contradicted the facts presented at the hearing. Doc. 1 at 4. Defendant Henderson determined that the inmate's injuries were serious and life-threatening without photos or medical reports confirming the injuries. Doc. 1 at 4. Defendant Henderson determined that Plaintiff possessed and used a deadly weapon without a weapon being found or without a qualified medical professional confirming whether any of the injuries were consistent with the use of a weapon. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff argues that Defendant Henderson determined that Plaintiff attempted to murder an inmate without an other valid evidence. Doc. 1 at 4. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Henderson's written findings for the hearing report dated March 25, 2011, is riddled with cleverly manipulated facts, blatant opinions and fabricated information designed to harm Plaintiff and conceal the truth. Doc. 1 at 4.

Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Doran, while acting as a reviewer of the Rules Violation Report (RVR), on March 24, 2011, failed to properly review and classify the RVR. Doc. 1 at 4. On April 5, 2011, Defendant Doran failed to properly review, identify and correct the due process violations caused by Defendant Henderson. Doc. 1 at 4. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Grissom, in the capacity of Chief Disciplinary Officer, on April 5, 2011, failed to properly review, identify and correct the due process violation in the hearings report. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Castro as warden failed to properly train and oversee his staff to ensure that they act in accordance with department regulations and within the law. Doc. 1 at 4.

Plaintiff alleges that he has suffered physical injuries as a result of living in inhuman conditions of the Secured Housing Unit (SHU). Doc. 1 at 5. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the guilty RVR finding, Plaintiff has been placed in prolonged solitary cell confinement, less than two and a half hours of "out-of-cell" exercise per week from February 16, 20111 to July 10, 2011, loss of personal property, loss of phone privileges and loss of contact visits. Doc. 1 at 5. Plaintiff alleges that he has developed hypertension caused from extreme anxiety. Doc. 1 at 5.

IV. Applicable Law and Analysis

A. Due Process Deprivation of Liberty

A prisoner does not have a "constitutionally guaranteed immunity from being falsely or wrongly accused of conduct which may result in the deprivation of a protected liberty interest." Sprouse v. Babcock, 870 F. 2d 450, 452 (8th Cir.1989). Rather, the Fourteenth Amendment provides that a prisoner "has a right not to be deprived of a protected liberty interest without due process of law." Id. As long as a prisoner is afforded procedural due process in the disciplinary hearing, allegations of a fabricated charge fail to state a claim under ยง 1983. See Sprouse, 870 F. 2d at 452; Freeman v. Rideout, 808 F.2d 949, 951 (2d Cir.1986); Hanrahan v. Lane, 747 F.2d 1137, 1140-41 (7th Cir.1984). Moreover, the fact that a prisoner may have been ...


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