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Kenneth Green v. James E. Hilton

April 22, 2013



Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (See Doc. No. 4.) Before the court is plaintiff's amended complaint.

I. The Court's Prior Screening Order

In the court's February 7, 2012 order, the court screened plaintiff's civil rights complaint and concluded that it was defective and that plaintiff had failed to state a cognizable claim. (See Doc. No. 7.) The complaint was dismissed and plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended complaint.

Because plaintiff named Director James Hilton, the Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Warden James Hill as defendants, plaintiff was advised in the screening order that supervisory defendants are generally not liable for the actions of their employees under § 1983 and that if a named defendant holds a supervisorial position, plaintiff was required to specifically allege the causal link between the defendant and the claimed constitutional violation.

Plaintiff was also advised that to properly allege that defendants failed to adequately protect him from a known risk of harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment, he was required to set forth allegations satisfying both the objective and subjective elements of such a claim. As to the subjective element, plaintiff was advised that he needed to allege facts showing that each named defendant was deliberately indifferent about his safety, that the defendant knew of and disregarded the risk of harm to plaintiff and acted unreasonably.

II. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint

In his amended complaint, plaintiff has added several new defendants - - five from California State Prison - Solano (CSP-Solano) and nine from Folsom State Prison. Plaintiff also names Doe defendants from both prisons.

In his amended complaint plaintiff alleges as follows. Plaintiff arrived at CSPSolano on July 22, 2010. On July 28, 2011, he was informed by defendant correctional officer Yehuda that a confidential informant had reported that inmate Thomas Jenkins had made a serious threat on plaintiff's life. Plaintiff was placed in administrative segregation by defendants Lt. Douglas and Associate Warden Arthur. The unit classification committee which included defendants Warden Swarthout, Lt. Arthur, Correctional Counselor Fregoso, and Lt. Douglas approved plaintiff's transfer because of the threat on his life. Plaintiff was transferred to FSP on October 1, 2010.

On October 1, plaintiff was taken to the reception center and met there with an official about his housing assignment. The unknown officer explained that plaintiff did not have any documented enemies at FSC.

On January 20, 2011, an inmate approached plaintiff and told him that "Tee, wants to see you." (Doc. No. 14 at 8.) Plaintiff thought the inmate was talking about plaintiff's cell mate and followed the inmate to the prison yard. Plaintiff was confronted by inmate Thomas Jenkins who punched plaintiff in the face. The next thing plaintiff remembered was that he was being lifted from the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. Plaintiff was escorted to the center complex and placed in a single-man, caged cubicle. Plaintiff was later housed in administrative segregation by defendant Lt. Tell based on the incident report written by defendant Correctional Officer Thomas.

On January 27, 2011, plaintiff was released from administrative segregation to general population. On that day, plaintiff was confronted by several inmates and told he could be either carried out or get off the yard. Plaintiff immediately informed the correctional sergeant and was escorted back to administrative segregation for his safety.

Plaintiff was issued a rules violation report for fighting which was reviewed by defendants Lt. Foats and Sergeant Hannigan. Defendant Thomas was the investigating employee and defendant Lt. Kauffman was the hearing officer. Defendants Lt. Kauffman and Lt. Snead interviewed plaintiff. Plaintiff was later found not guilty of the rules violation charge.

Plaintiff appeared before the Classification Committee comprised of defendants Warden Hill, Capt. Cox, Associate Warden Chappel and others. The Classification Committee decided to transfer plaintiff due to safety concerns. On March 16, 2011, plaintiff was transferred back to CSP-Solano. ...

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