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Robert E. Coleman v. Cdcr

December 5, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge


I. Background

Plaintiff Robert E. Coleman ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action by filing his complaint on February 4, 2009. On May 8, 2009, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend. On June 2, 2009, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint. On November 2, 2009, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's first amended complaint with leave to file a second amended complaint. On November 17, 2009, Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint. On May 3, 2010, Plaintiff filed a third amended complaint. On June 29, 2010, the Court screened Plaintiff's third amended complaint and dismissed certain claims and Defendants. On April 6, 2011, Plaintiff filed a fourth amended complaint. On June 20, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiff one final opportunity to file a fifth amended complaint. On July 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed his Fifth Amended Complaint. ECF No. 91. Because of the numerous opportunities provided to Plaintiff to amend his complaint, the Court will grant Plaintiff no further leave to amend. 3

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 7 monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. § 1915A(b)(1),(2).

"Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall 9 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." Id. § 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 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary of Fifth Amended Complaint

Plaintiff was confined at California State Prison -- Corcoran ("CSP-Cor") in Corcoran, California, during the events alleged in this action. Plaintiff names as Defendants: the director of CDCR; Chief Deputy Wardens ("CDW") R. Lopez and T. Norton of CSP-Cor; R. Broomfield and R. Chavez, Correctional Counselor II ("CC II") at CSP-Cor; D. White and W. S. Nickels, CC I at CSP-Cor; S. Rousseau and A. Diaz, lieutenants at CSP-Cor; M. Lopez and P. Maldonado, sergeants at CSP-Cor.

Plaintiff alleges the following. While incarcerated in Administrative Segregation 3A03 ("ad seg") at CSP-Cor in January of 2008, Defendants Diaz, M. Lopez, and Maldonado failed to provide Plaintiff with his personal or legal property, even after he showed them a February 19, 2008 court deadline. Fifth Am. Compl. ("5AC") ¶ 15. Plaintiff filed an inmate grievance regarding this. 5AC ¶ 15.

After submitting this grievance, on February 27, 2008, Plaintiff was issued a Rules Violation Report ("RVR") for refusing a direct order by officer S. Vela regarding accepting a cell mate. 5AC 3 ¶ 16. On March 3, 2008, Defendants Lopez and Diaz put Plaintiff on property restriction for thirty 4 days. 5AC ¶ 17. Plaintiff had access only to one sheet, one shirt, one pair of boxers, and one pair of 5 socks, with no access to his other personal property or hygiene items. 5AC ¶ 17. 6

On March 10, 2008, Plaintiff attended his RVR 115 hearing, and Defendant Diaz was the senior hearing officer. 5AC ¶ 18. Plaintiff protested, contending that Defendant Diaz was the ad seg 8 lieutenant and had ordered his officers to confiscate Plaintiff's property. 5AC ¶ 18. Plaintiff was 9 ignored, and was found guilty by Defendant Diaz. 5AC ¶ 18.

On May 6, 2008, Plaintiff filed an inmate grievance challenging the guilty finding because Defendant Diaz was not an impartial decision maker. 5AC ¶ 19. Plaintiff remained on property restriction for six months rather than the three months found in the RVR. 5AC ¶ 19. In May of 2008, Defendants Diaz, Lopez, and Maldonado wrote a memo admonishing ad seg inmates about specific punishments that they would receive if Defendants' rules were violated. 5AC ¶ 20. Plaintiff compiled a group inmate grievance contesting the memo, but his grievance was never processed. 5AC ¶ 20.

After the submission of the group grievance, Defendant Maldonado approached Plaintiff at his cell and told him that he would be moving. 5AC ¶ 21. Plaintiff requested to speak with a captain. 5AC ¶ 21. Defendant Maldonado threatened Plaintiff with a cell extraction if Plaintiff refused to move. 5AC ¶ 21. Plaintiff again pleaded to speak to the captain, at which point Defendant Maldonado retreated from the cell. 5AC ¶ 21. A few days later, Defendants Diaz and Lopez threatened Plaintiff with a cell extraction if he refused to move and ordered subordinates to prepare to extract Plaintiff. 5AC ¶ 22. Plaintiff complied, and was housed in cell 150. 5AC ¶ 22.

Cell 150's lights were not properly working. 5AC ¶ 23. Plaintiff alerted Defendants Diaz, Lopez, and Maldonado of the problem, but was ignored. 5AC ¶ 23. Plaintiff then filed another inmate grievance. 5AC ¶ 23. Plaintiff remained in these conditions for two months. 5AC ¶ 23. Ad seg windows are covered in a white substance that prevents much light from passing through. 5AC ...

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