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Hosea Byrd v. A. Lynn

March 6, 2013

HOSEA BYRD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
A. LYNN, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



ORDER AND FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with an action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The operative complaint before the court is plaintiff's amended complaint filed on May 26, 2010. (Doc. No. 16.) Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion to supplement his amended complaint and defendant's motion to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiff's claims are barred by the Supreme Court's decision in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). (Doc. Nos. 51 & 55.)

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 8, 2010, plaintiff filed his original civil rights complaint in this action. (Doc. No. 1.)On April 29, 2010, the court dismissed plaintiff's complaint and granted him leave to amend. (Doc. No. 10.) On May 26, 2010, plaintiff filed his amended complaint. (Doc. No. 16.) On August 26, 2010, the undersigned screened plaintiff's amended complaint and issued findings and recommendations in which it was concluded that plaintiff had failed to state a cognizable due process claim and recommended that he be permitted to proceed only on his retaliation claim against defendant Lynn. (Doc. No. 18.) On March 29, 2012, the assigned District Judge adopted those findings and recommendations in their entirety. (Doc. No. 44.)*fn1

On August 30, 2012, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint.*fn2

(Doc. No. 55.) On September 20, 2012, plaintiff filed his opposition to defendant's motion. (Doc. No. 56.) On September 26, 2012, defendant filed a reply in support of the motion to dismiss. (Doc. No. 57.) On October 5, 2012, plaintiff filed an unauthorized "counter reply" to the pending motion. (Doc. No. 58.)*fn3

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is proceeding in this action on his 46-page amended complaint filed on May 26, 2010. (Am. Compl. (Doc. No. 16).) Therein, plaintiff alleges that he was transferred to High Desert State Prison (HDSP) from Calipatria State Prison on July 23, 2009 in retaliation for his filing of a civil rights complaint against Calipatria prison officials.*fn4 (Id. at 10.*fn5 ) On August 5, 2009, defendant Lynn recommended to HDSP's Classification Committee that plaintiff be assigned to Privilege Group C. (Id. at 10 and 25.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Lynn based her classification recommendation solely on instructions given to her by Calipatria prison officials, that the recommendation was made in violation of applicable regulations, and that no legitimate penological goals were served by his assignment to Privilege Group C. (Id. at 10-11.) Plaintiff alleges that the classification recommendation reflected defendant Lynn's participation in the continuing retaliation against, and harassment of, plaintiff by prison officials at Calipatria. (Id. at 11.) Specifically, plaintiff alleges in his amended complaint that The defendant [Lynn] retaliated by altering certain documents with in [sic] the plaintiff's central file[.] With out [sic] any authorization the defendant [Lynn] on 1-26-09 altered CDC R.R. 115 violations to make them appear as if the plaintiff had a history of SHU terms wish [sic] justified the placement of the plaintiff on privilege group "C."

(Id.) Plaintiff suggests that he had suffered no disciplinary convictions within the previous four months that would support his "C" classification and that defendant Lynn altered the disciplinary records in his central file to support that classification decision and in retaliation for plaintiff filing the his inmate appeal and the petitions for writ of mandate in the Lassen County Superior Court. (Id. at 4, 6, 9 & 11-12.)

On October 25, 2009, plaintiff filed an inmate appeal challenging both his classification assignment to Privilege Group C and defendant Lynn's refusal to change that classification. (Id. at 6, 11, 13, and 23.) On November 5, 2009, defendant Lynn denied plaintiff's appeal at the informal level of review, concluding that plaintiff did not meet the requirements to be removed from Privilege Group C status and that a classification hearing would be scheduled for him. (Id. at 23.) On November 31, 2009, plaintiff filed two petitions for writ of mandate in the Lassen County Superior Court seeking a court order requiring that he be provided a new classification hearing and that the rejection of his inmate appeals be reversed.*fn6

(Id. at 6 and 11.) On December 4, 2009, plaintiff's inmate appeal was received by the appeals coordinator at the first formal level of review. (Id. at 23.) On the same day, the appeals coordinator screened out plaintiff's inmate appeal because it was filed after the applicable 15-day time limit. (Id. at 14 and 22.)

Plaintiff's classification hearing was scheduled for December 8, 2009, but was postponed until January 27, 2010. (Id. at 6.) At that hearing, plaintiff appeared before a panel which included defendant Lynn. (Id. at 8.) The classification committee again assigned plaintiff to Privilege Group C. (Id.)

On January 27, 2010, after his classification hearing, plaintiff submitted another inmate appeal against defendant Lynn for "falsification of information, not classification," which was received by the appeals coordinator on January 29, 2010. (Id.; see also Pl.'s Opp'n (Doc. No. 56) at 9.) On January 29, 2010, that inmate appeal was screened out. (Pl.'s Opp'n (Doc. No. 56), 9-10.) On February 3, 2010, plaintiff resubmitted the inmate appeal. (Id. at 9.) On February 5, 2010, that inmate appeal was screened out once again. (Id. at 9 and 11.)

In short, plaintiff's remaining retaliation claim is based on his contention that defendant Lynn falsified disciplinary records in his central file to assign him to Privilege Group C and that she did so in retaliation for plaintiff filing of an inmate appeal and petitions for a writ of mandate in state court. (Am. Compl. (Doc. No. 16), 8 and 11-12.) Attachments incorporated into the amended complaint include CDCR prison ...


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