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Dawkins v. Butler

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

May 6, 2013

C. BUTLER, Correctional Captain, et al. Defendants.


DAVID H. BARTICK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Anthony D. Dawkins, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed his initial Complaint in this case on May 11, 2009, alleging various civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) The operative complaint is now the Fourth Amended Complaint that Plaintiff filed on April 29, 2012. (ECF No. 102.) On October 30, 2012, Defendant G. Siota ("Siota") filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against him as alleged in the Fourth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 151.)[1] Plaintiff filed an opposition to Siota's motion to dismiss on January 29, 2013. (ECF No. 158.) Siota filed a reply to Plaintiff's opposition on January 31, 2013. (ECF No. 160.)

After a thorough review of the pleadings, the parties' papers, and all supporting documents, the Court hereby RECOMMENDS that Siota's motion to dismiss be GRANTED due to Plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies and Plaintiff's failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.


Plaintiff is a California state prisoner currently incarcerated at California State Prison, Los Angeles County located in Lancaster, California. (ECF No. 102 at ¶ 1.) In his Fourth Amended Complaint, Plaintiff asserts civil rights claims against Siota and twelve other defendants (Officers M. Trujillo, Villa, Allen, L.C. Moschetti, M.P. Duran, B. Guevara, C. Butler (Captain), D. Gonzalez, Stratton, Nancy Mejia, Edgar Ibarra and Ries), based on events allegedly occurring when Plaintiff was incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison, located in Calipatria, California. ( Id. at ¶¶ 2-13, 39.) Plaintiff sues each defendant in their individual capacity. ( Id. at ¶¶ 2-13.) Although Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint contains four claims (Claims One, Three, Five and Six), only one claim (Claim Five) contains allegations against Siota.[2]

In Claim Five, Plaintiff alleges that on February 15, 2005, he was escorted to the program office for an administrative appeal interview with Defendant Gonzalez. ( Id. at ¶ 34.) Plaintiff contends Defendant Gonzalez told him he was being placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit ("ASU") because Plaintiff had written a personal letter to a family member describing Defendant Guevara's "sexual misconduct and harassment of Plaintiff for the purpose of entrapment." ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges Defendants Butler and Gonzalez signed the segregation order. ( Id. at ¶ 35.)

Plaintiff contends he went before the classification committee on February 24, 2005, and that the committee informed him he was placed in the ASU for the charge of "overfamiliarity." ( Id. at ¶ 36.)

Plaintiff contends he was interviewed by Siota on March 8, 2005 in connection with Plaintiff's administrative appeal concerning Defendant Guevara. ( Id. at ¶ 37.) Plaintiff contends he "informed Siota that he had been placed in segregation on false allegations." ( Id. ) Plaintiff further contends he "apprised [Siota] of verifiable information which [Siota] suppressed, " thereby causing Plaintiff "to endure false-imprisonment within a prison which was a form of cruel & unusual punishment." ( Id. )[3]

Plaintiff maintains Defendant Stratton interviewed him on May 13, 2005 regarding allegations of "Defendant Guevara's sexual misconduct, false-report, and false-imprisonment within a prison." ( Id. at ¶ 38.) Plaintiff further alleges "Defendant Stratton failed to investigate the facts and sought to suppress evidence which substantiated Plaintiff's accusations, thereby, depriving Plaintiff of due process rights." ( Id. )

Plaintiff contends Defendant Ries violated Plaintiff's due process rights on August 9, 2005 by denying him a fair and impartial hearing. Id. Plaintiff further alleges Defendant Ries either knew of the report falsified by Defendant Guevara and suppressed it based on a "code of silence" or purposely avoided discovering it. ( Id. at ¶ 39.)

Plaintiff contends Lieutenant Davis[4] reheard the above charges on October 24, 2005 and determined Defendant Guevara did not work on the date in which she alleged Plaintiff became "over-familiar" with her. ( Id. at ¶ 40.) Plaintiff was subsequently found not guilty of the charge, following eight months in the ASU. ( Id. )

Plaintiff contends Defendants "knowingly fabricate[d] disciplinary charges against the Plaintiff" and suppressed evidence of officer misconduct by conducting "[m]ock investigations [that] were a smoke-screen' failing to uncover verifiable facts." ( Id. at ¶ 48.)


A. Plaintiff's Administrative Grievance

Plaintiff's inmate appeals file at Calipatria State Prison contains numerous administrative appeals that were either submitted by Plaintiff on or after March 8, 2005 or that were pending at any level of review on or after March 5, 2005. ( See ECF No. 151-2 at 3:19-4:3, 7-11, 12-33.)[5] However, Plaintiff's administrative appeals file contains only one appeal submitted by Plaintiff that refers to Siota or Plaintiff's March 8, 2005 interview with Siota. ( Id. at 4:4-6.) Specifically, Plaintiff submitted an Inmate Appeal Form, 05-0049, on December 30, 2004. ( Id. at 4:4-6, 35.) In this appeal, Plaintiff claimed that Correctional Officers Lewis, Lopez and Guevara engaged in unprofessional and discriminatory misconduct. ( Id. at 35.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Guevara failed to allow Plaintiff to shower in a timely manner and showed "favoritism... on the basis of race in regards to showers, time on the dayroom floor and the over-all program." ( Id. ) In his appeal Plaintiff requested "that all inmates be treated fairly on the basis of their actions in terms of how they conduct themselves and each individual be judged on his own merit not favoritism." ( Id. )

Plaintiff also submitted an addendum to his 05-0049 appeal, dated February 15, 2005, in which he complains about an interview with Defendant Gonzales regarding Officers Lewis, Lopez and Guevara. (ECF No. 151-2 at 36.)

Following the filing of Plaintiff's 05-0049 appeal, Siota interviewed Plaintiff on March 8, 2005 regarding Plaintiff's "claim that Officer B. Guevara is unprofessional and discriminatory in the performance of her official duties" and Plaintiff's request that an investigation be conducted "into Officer Guevara's conduct regarding racial bias and unconstitutional practices." ( Id. ) As set forth in Siota's First Level Appeal Response, dated March 16, 2005, Siota also interviewed all individuals with information pertinent to Plaintiff's complaint. ( Id. ) Following his investigation, Siota determined that "[t]he staff was exonerated as the investigation clearly established that the staff member's actions were not violations of law or departmental policy." ( Id. )

Plaintiff requested a Second-Level Review on March 27, 2005. ( Id. at 37.) In his request for Second-Level Review, Plaintiff claimed he was wrongfully placed in the ASU as punishment for accusing Defendant Guevara of over-familiarity. ( Id. ) Plaintiff's appeal was denied at the Second-Level Review on April 19, 2005. ( Id. at 37, 41-45.)

Plaintiff subsequently appealed to the Director's Level Review - the third (and final) level of review - on March 28, 2005. ( Id. at 37.) In his request for Director's Level Review, Plaintiff, for the first time, asserts a claim against Siota, claiming that Siota did not hear his appeal until March 8, 2005 and that Siota exonerated Defendant Guevara "in his mock investigation." ( Id. ) Plaintiff's appeal was denied at the Director's Level Review on July 20, 2005. ( Id. at 48-49.)

B. Procedural Background in this Action

Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint in this action on May 11, 2009. (ECF No. 1.) The Court dismissed the Complaint for failure to pay the filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) and/or failing to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on June 29, 2009. (ECF No. 3.) On August 31, 2009, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis but dismissed Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a claim. (ECF No. 15.) On September 21, 2009, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which the Court subsequently dismissed for failure to state a claim. (ECF Nos. 17, 19.) On December 11, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 20.) Again, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. (ECF No. 21.) On February 11, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 26.) On June 18, 2010, Defendants Butler, Gonzalez, Stratton, Ries, Moschetti, Trujillo, Guevara, Mejia and Ibarra filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 56.) On July 17, 2010, Defendant Duran filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and joinder to the June 18, 2010 motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 60.) On January 28, 2011, former Magistrate Judge Louisa S Porter issued a Report and Recommendation to grant Defendants' motion to dismiss Claims One, Three, Five and Six without prejudice, deny Plaintiff's request for declaratory and injunctive relief and dismiss with prejudice Plaintiff's claims against Defendants in their official capacity. (ECF No. 86.) On March 14, 2011, the District Judge adopted Judge Porter's Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 96.)

On April 29, 2011, Plaintiff filed the operative Fourth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 102.) On May 13, 2011, Defendants Butler, Gonzalez, Stratton, Ries, Moschetti, Trujillo, Guevara, Mejia, Duran and Ibarra filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 107.) On November 17, 2011, Judge Porter issued a Report and Recommendation to grant in part and deny in part Defendants' motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 120.) On February 21, 2012, the District ...

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