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Brounche S. Green v. Connie Gibson

April 1, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge


Second Screening Order Dismissing Action

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Brounche S. Green, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on April 30, 2012. On November 8, 2012, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint, with leave to amend, for failure to state any claims under section 1983. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on December 17, 2012.

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences," Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

Pro se litigants are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121-23 (9th Cir. 2012); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010), but Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible to survive screening, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Discussion

A. Allegations

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, brings this action against Warden Connie Gibson; Captains Diaz, Variz, Rangel, and Gonzales; Correctional Counselors Oliveira, Gritchlow, Bugarin, Chavez, Smith, Belmap, Bugni, and Cribbs; Classification Services Representative D. A. White; R. Broomfield; J. Paison; and A. Maxfield. Plaintiff's claims arise from his assignment to a Level IV yard at California State Prison-Corcoran despite his Level II classification score and the failure of prison officials to transfer him to a Level II prison. During the events in question, Plaintiff was placed on CTQ (confined to quarters) status, and an administrative bed move to the emergency outpatient housing unit was approved without authorization of mental health staff. (Amend. Comp., 7:25-27, 8:1-5, 9:4-10.)

Plaintiff's amended complaint is much less detailed than his original complaint. In order to clarify the context in which Plaintiff's claims in his amended complaint arise, the following facts are reproduced from the first screening order:

In March 2011, Facility 3B at CSP-Corcoran converted from a Level III yard to a Level IV yard, necessitating the rehousing of Level III inmates. (Comp., court record pp. 3, 4, 19, 20.) All cases were required to be scheduled for classification committee prior to referral to classification services representatives (CSR) for endorsement, and inmates who were scheduled or projected for Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) reviews within six months of CSR review were not eligible for transfer.

Plaintiff, who was a Level III inmate, had a BPH review scheduled for June 3, 2011, although the review did not occur until September 6, 2011.

On June 25, 2011, and on August 1, 2011, Plaintiff filed inmate appeals regarding his placement. On August 31, 2011, Plaintiff appeared for his annual review and he was classified as a Level II inmate at that time. On September 15, 2011, Plaintiff appeared before the unit classification committee (UCC), and he was told he would be "special transferred" immediately. (Comp., p. 4.) On October 4, 2011, Plaintiff alleges that he was placed on "confined to quarters" (CTQ) status to "shut up" his appeals attempts. (Id.) On October 21, 2011, Plaintiff again appeared before the UCC due to an error at ...

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