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Michael Anthony Todd v. P. Johnson

March 29, 2013

MICHAEL ANTHONY TODD,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
P. JOHNSON, ET AL.
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING ACTION PROCEED ON COGNIZABLE EIGHTH AMENDMENT CLAIM AGAINST DEFENDANTS DOE, NORTON, J O H N S O N , H A R R I N G T O N , A N D WEATHERFORD AND THAT OTHER CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS BE DISMISSED FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 12) FOURTEEN-DAY OBJECTION DEADLINE

Plaintiff Michael Anthony Todd ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff initiated this action on February 22, 2012 in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Kings. (ECF No. 2.) On August 6, 2012, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint alleging federal and state claims. (Am. Compl., Id. at Ex. A.) Defendants were served with the First Amended Complaint on November 27, 2012, and removed the action to this Court on December 27, 2012. (Id.)

The Court screened Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint and dismissed it, with leave to amend, for failure to state a claim. (ECF No. 11.) Plaintiff has since filed a Second Amended Complaint. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 12.) Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

I. 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 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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

II. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is currently housed at California State Prison, Corcoran ("CSP-COR") where the events at issue in his Second Amended Complaint occurred. Plaintiff alleges the following parties violated his rights: 1) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), 2) P. Johnson, correctional counselor at CSP-COR, 3) T. Norton, Chief Deputy Warden at CSP-COR, 4) J. Gomez, correctional officer at CSP-COR, 5) John Doe, correctional officer at CSP-COR, 6) G. Mascarenas, correctional counselor at CSPCOR, 7) R.S. Lambert, Chief Deputy Warden at CSP-COR, 8) R. Subia, director of the CDCR, 9) K. Harrington, deputy director of the CDCR, and 10) K. Weatherford, correctional lieutenant at CSP-COR. Plaintiff alleges Defendants CDCR, Johnson, Norton, Harrington, Weatherford, Doe, Mascarenas, Lambert, and Subia violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. He alleges Defendants CDCR, Mascarenas, Lambert, and Subia subjected him to false imprisonment. Lastly, he alleges that Defendant Gomez inflicted emotional distress on him.

Plaintiff's allegations can be summarized as follows: The CDCR has prison gang problems. (Am. Compl. at 3.) Plaintiff is a member of the United Society of Aryan Skinheads ("USAS") and he has made this clear to prison staff. (Id. at 7.) The USAS forbids its members from participating in prison politics or obeying orders issued by prison gangs. (Id. at 6.) USAS members have a history of being attacked by members of the Aryan Brotherhood gang. (Id.)

Plaintiff was transferred to CSP-COR in January 2010. (Am. Compl. at 7.) Plaintiff informed staff members he was a member of the USAS. (Id.) Plaintiff was initially placed on single cell status, but after he appeared before the Institutional Classification Committee ("ICC") he was placed on double cell status. (Id. at 7-8.) Defendant Norton chaired the committee and Defendant Johnson recommended Plaintiff be placed on double cell status. (Id. at 7-8.) These Defendants were aware of the dangers of placing Plaintiff on double cell status and in the group yard. (Id. at 8.)

On March 10, 2010, Plaintiff was double celled with another inmate and forced by Defendant Doe to sign a compatibility agreement. (Am. Compl. at 8.) The following day Plaintiff's cell-mate stabbed him. (Id. at 9.) As Plaintiff was waiting for an ambulance, Defendant Gomez laughed at him. (Id.)

On April 21, 2010, Plaintiff was given an indeterminate Security Housing Unit ("SHU") term. (Am. Compl. at 9.) Plaintiff was placed in the SHU for two six month terms.

(Id.) After this, Defendant Mascarenas recommended another term for Plaintiff based solely on his USAS membership. (Id. at 10.) Defendant Lambert approved the recommendation and Plaintiff was placed in the SHU for another two terms. (Id. at 10.) On February 2, 2012, the Departmental Review Board, chaired by Defendant Subia, placed Plaintiff in the SHU for another indeterminate term. (Id.) On May 17, 2012, the Departmental Review Board, chaired by Defendant Harrington placed Plaintiff on CSPCOR's general population yard. (Id.) Plaintiff requested to be placed in an area where other USAS members were housed because he was worried about his safety. (Id.)

Plaintiff was housed on the general population yard in August 2012. (Am. Compl. at 11.) Defendant Weatherford tried to make Plaintiff accept a non-USAS cell-mate. (Id.) After being presented with information indicating Plaintiff could not be housed with such an individual, Defendant Weatherford told other inmates Plaintiff was preventing other inmates from being released from Administrative Segregation by refusing to accept any cell--mate. (Id.)

Plaintiff was attacked on October 4, 2012 by other inmates. (Am. Compl. at 11.) Plaintiff asks for declaratory relief, a preliminary and permanent injunction, compensatory ...


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