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Charles G. Reece v. Terry Dickenson

March 13, 2013

CHARLES G. REECE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TERRY DICKENSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is defendant's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 50).

A. Plaintiff's Allegations

I. BACKGROUND

This action proceeds on plaintiff's third amended complaint against the sole remaining defendant, Dickenson, on a claim of violation of plaintiff's First Amendment right of access to the courts. All other claims and defendants have been dismissed. The basis of plaintiff's claim is that defendant Dickenson failed to properly process his inmate grievance, thus foreclosing on his ability to challenge his prison disciplinary proceedings in state court through a petition for writ of habeas corpus. He alleges that after his inmate grievance was improperly screened out and dismissed, the state court denied his habeas petition on the grounds that it was not exhausted.

B. The Parties' Evidence

According to defendant's evidence, which consists of defendant's declaration and attached exhibits, as well as plaintiff's discovery responses and documents defendant asks the court to judicially notice, the following facts are undisputed:*fn1

1. In 2005 defendant Dickenson held the position of Appeals Coordinator at California State Prison -- Solano ("CSP-Solano").

2. Under the inmate grievance system in place at CSP-Solano in 2005, an inmate could file an appeal regarding any decision, action, or condition that the inmate could demonstrate had an adverse effect on his welfare.

3. The regulations required that any appeal had to be filed within 15 working days of the event or decision being challenged.

4. One of defendant Dickenson's responsibilities was to screen inmate appeals to determine whether they complied with applicable regulations.

5. In addition to the 15-day time rule, the regulations also required that inmate appeals contain necessary supporting documentation, which is the inmate's responsibility to provide.

6. The CSP-Solano inmate appeals office received an appeal from plaintiff on February 25, 2005.

7. In the inmate appeal, plaintiff complained of a rules violation that had been issued against him and requested that the rules violation be ...


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