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Brounche S. Green v. Connie Gibson

November 7, 2012


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


First Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Brouche S. Green, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on April 30, 2012. The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and 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). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

While 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, 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 678 (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 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Discussion

A. Summary of Allegations

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California, brings this suit against Warden Connie Gibson; Captains Diaz, Variz, Rangel, and Gonzales; and Correctional Counselors Oliveira, Gritchlow, Bugarin, Chavez, Smith, Belmap, Bugni, Cribbs, and White for violating his rights while he was at California State Prison-Corcoran (CSP-Corcoran).

In March 2011, Facility 3B at CSP-Corcoran converted from a Level III yard to a Level IV yard, necessitating the rehousing of Level III inmates. (Comp., court record pp. 3, 4, 19, 20.) All cases were required to be scheduled for classification committee prior to referral to classification services representatives (CSR) for endorsement, and inmates who were scheduled or projected for Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) reviews within six months of CSR review were not eligible for transfer.

Plaintiff, who was a Level III inmate, had a BPH review scheduled for June 3, 2011, although the review did not occur until September 6, 2011.

On June 25, 2011, and on August 1, 2011, Plaintiff filed inmate appeals regarding his placement. On August 31, 2011, Plaintiff appeared for his annual review and he was classified as a Level II inmate at that time. On September 15, 2011, Plaintiff appeared before the unit classification committee (UCC), and he was told he would be "special transferred" immediately. (Comp., p. 4.) On October 4, 2011, Plaintiff alleges that he was placed on "confined to quarters" (CTQ) status to "shut up" his appeals attempts. (Id.) On October 21, 2011, Plaintiff again appeared before the UCC due to an error at the prior hearing, and he complained about his CTQ status. Defendant Rangel said the housing procedures were all messed up and it was out of her hands.

In November 2011, Plaintiff was moved into a Level IV Enhanced Outpatient (EOP) unit for mentally ill prisoners. Plaintiff spoke with a correctional counselor, who told him that she would talk to Defendants Gritchlow, Bargarin, and Diaz because Plaintiff's housing was "illegal," but because she was assigned only to help EOP inmates, that was all she could do for him. Plaintiff filled out a ...

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