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Larry P. Sambrano v. S. Henderson

December 13, 2012

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



ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 8) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN FOURTEEN 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 original complaint which initiated this action. Doc. 1. On November 7, 2012, the Court screened the complaint and dismissed with leave to amend. Doc. 7. On November 26, 2012, Plaintiff filed the first amended complaint which is currently before the Court. Doc. 8.

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, Doc. 8. In the complaint, Plaintiff names the following as a defendants: 1) S. Henderson (Correctional Captain at KVSP); 2) K. Doran (Correctional Captain at KVSP); and 3) R. Grissom (Chief Disciplinary Officer at KVSP). Doc. 1 at 2; Doc. 8 at 2-3. Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief. Doc. 1 at 3; Doc. 8 at 3.

Plaintiff alleges that on March 25, 2011, that Defendant Henderson acted as a hearing official for Plaintiff's disciplinary charge. Doc. 8 at 3. Defendant Henderson denied Plaintiff time to prepare a defense to address the new evidence that Defendant Henderson submitted at the hearing. Doc. 8 at 3. Plaintiff argues that Defendant Henderson's findings were not supported by some evidence in the record. Doc. 8 at 3. Plaintiff argues that a single source of uncorroborated confidential information was the only evidence alleging Plaintiff's involvement. Doc. 8 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Henderson suppressed evidence available in the record of Plaintiff's innocence and would have made the confidential information unreliable. Doc. 8 at 3. Defendant Henderson supplies a second confidential source of information at the hearing which proves that "Defendant [Henderson] knowingly falsified and used as evidence against Plaintiff to establish the reliability of the original sources of information . . . ." Doc. 8 at 3. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Henderson introduced the second source of confidential information, however, the reliability of the second source was deemed reliable through fraudulently obtained corroboration. Doc. 8 at 4. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Henderson added the charges of "use of a deadly weapon" and "serious injury," which Plaintiff argues that the additional charges are unsupported by any evidence and does not implicate Plaintiff's involvement. Doc. 8 at 4. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Henderson was an impartial decision maker because Defendant Henderson: 1) supplied the evidence; 2) withheld evidence of Plaintiff's innocence and evidence which would make the confidential information unreliable; 3) authored and knowingly falsified a report during the hearing to fraudulently obtain a conviction; 4) denied Plaintiff time to prepare a defense at the time the false report was issued; and 5) arbitrarily caused Plaintiff to lose 360 days of good time credits. Doc. 8 at 4.

On April 5, 2011, Defendant Doran audited the Defendant Henderson's report to ensure that Plaintiff's rights were not violated. Doc. 8 at 4. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Doran knew that Defendant Henderson violated Plaintiff's rights, had the power to correct the violations but failed to do so. Doc. 8 at 4. On April 5, 20122, Defendant Grissom acted as chief disciplinary officer and in that capacity audited Plaintiff's proceedings to ensure all the due process procedures were met. Doc. 8 at 4. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Grissom has the power to correct the due process violations but failed to do so. Doc. 8 at 4.

IV. Applicable Law and Analysis

A. Rule 8

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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct, Iqbal at 1950, and while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not, id. at 1949. Plaintiff bears the burden of separately setting forth his legal claims and for each claim, briefly and clearly providing the facts supporting the claim so that the Court and Defendants are readily able to understand the claims. Bautista v. Los Angeles County, 216 F.3d 837, 840-41 (9th Cir. 2000).

1. Analysis

Plaintiff's complaint is conclusory and lacks sufficient factual matter to state a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Plaintiff simply states that he was not afforded enough time to present his defense, however, Plaintiff fails to explain how much time he was given. It appears from Plaintiff's complaint that during the hearing, Defendant Henderson presented Plaintiff with evidence from an anonymous witness and Plaintiff believes that he needs to be allowed extra time to counteract the evidence presented at the hearing. However, time required for due process is the time to prepare for the hearing prior to the hearing, not extra ...


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