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Torres v. D. Bradbury

United States District Court, N.D. California, Oakland Division

February 2, 2015

HUGO MARTIN TORRES, Plaintiff,
v.
D. BRADBURY, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, a former state prisoner, brings the instant action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, alleging due process violations stemming from his placement and retention in administrative segregation ("ad-seg") at Pelican Bay State Prison ("PBSP") in 2012.

The parties are presently before the Court on an unopposed motion to dismiss filed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) by Acting Chief Deputy Warden D. Bradbury and Institutional Gang Investigator J. Hernandez (collectively "Defendants"). Having read and considered the papers submitted, and being fully informed, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

On May 25, 2012, Defendant Hernandez entered Plaintiff's cell while he was urinating and ordered him to turn around. When Plaintiff refused to comply, Defendant Hernandez grabbed his left arm from behind and pulled him backwards out of his cell-as he was urinating. Plaintiff threatened to file a 602 inmate appeal against Defendant Hernandez for her actions.

On June 1, 2012, Plaintiff was placed on a Contraband Surveillance Watch for an alleged inmate manufactured weapon that allegedly was in his rectum. Dkt. 1 at 5, 11.[1] After a search on June 6, 2012, there was no weapon found on Plaintiff's person or in his cell. However, Plaintiff was retained in ad-seg.

On June 14, 2012, Plaintiff attended an Institutional Classification Committee ("ICC") hearing regarding his placement in ad-seg. Plaintiff was informed that he was being held for possession of a deadly weapon. Defendant Bradbury advised him that Defendant Hernandez was going to "head the investigation." Id. at 6. Plaintiff objected to Defendant Hernandez heading the investigation because he felt that she would "potentially jeopardize the integrity of the investigation, " especially after the aforementioned May 25, 2012 incident. Id . Defendant Bradbury ignored Plaintiff's objection; therefore, Plaintiff claims he was held in ad-seg based on "false information [Defendant Hernandez] fabricated." Id.

On September 20, 2012, the ICC concluded that Plaintiff "had no fault/involvement in possession of a weapon, " and he was released back into general population. Id.

On January 25, 2013, Plaintiff filed the instant action. Upon reviewing the complaint, the Court found Plaintiff had stated cognizable due process claims against Defendants and ordered service of the complaint. Dkt. 7 at 3-5. All other claims were dismissed. Id.

In their motion to dismiss, Defendants argue that: (1) Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that his placement in ad-seg implicated a protected liberty interest; and (2) Plaintiff has no constitutionally guaranteed right to be free from any alleged fabrication of charges by prison staff.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

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). When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, dismissal is appropriate only when the complaint does not give the defendant fair notice of a legally cognizable claim and the grounds on which it rests. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (1964).

In considering whether the complaint is sufficient to state a claim, the district court must accept all factual allegations as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007); NL Indus., Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). However, the court need not accept as true allegations that are legal conclusions, unwarranted deductions of fact or unreasonable inferences. See Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988, amended, 275 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 2001). Dismissal can be based on the lack of a cognizable ...


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