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Haley v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 7, 2015

DONOVAN L. HALEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS CASE, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Doc. 15). OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

GARY S. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

Donovan L. Haley ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on February 13, 2013. (Doc. 1.) On March 13, 2013, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 12.)

The court screened the First Amended Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and entered an order on May 15, 2014, dismissing the First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. (Doc. 14.) On June 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint, which is now before the court for screening. (Doc. 15.)

II. 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 is required to 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, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, 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). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

To state a viable claim for relief, Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual allegations to state a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.

III. SUMMARY OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) in Jamestown, California, in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The events at issue in the Second Amended Complaint allegedly occurred at North Kern State Prison (NKSP) in Delano, California, and SCC. Plaintiff names as defendants the CDCR, C. Williams (Correctional Counselor, NKSP), J. Thompson (Correctional Counselor, SCC), and Heidi M. Lackner (Warden, SCC) (collectively "Defendants"). Defendants Williams, Thompson, and Lackner were all employed by the CDCR at NKSP or SCC at the time of the events at issue. Plaintiff's factual allegations follow.

Plaintiff entered the custody of state prison officials on July 27, 2012, as a non-street-gang member or associate. On October 11, 2012, while Plaintiff was housed at NKSP, defendant Thompson handed him a piece of paper which stated that Plaintiff had 46 classification security points.

On January 4, 2013, Plaintiff was transferred to SCC into the custody of defendant Warden Heidi Lackner. On January 16, 2013, Plaintiff went before the Initial Classification Committee with defendant Williams officiating. Williams stated, "Inmate Haley is assessed 46 classification score points." (Second Amended Cmp (2ACP) at 4 ¶13.) Plaintiff replied that he believed the score was wrong, and defendant Williams said he would review the file to check on it.

On January 18, 2013, Plaintiff received a CDCR 839 Classification Score Sheet which listed Plaintiff as a member or associate of "a Black Street Gang/Disruptive Group." (2ACP at 4 ¶16.) On January 16, 2013, defendant Williams typed an official state document characterizing Plaintiff as a "Current Active Member and/or Associate "of the Street Terrorist Tree Top Piru Blood Gang." (Id. ¶17.) On January 23, 2013, defendant Williams sent Plaintiff a CDCR 128G, summarizing the January 16, 2013 committee hearing, in which defendant Williams wrote, "I/M Haley agrees with the findings." (Id.) Plaintiff is not a gang member or associate of any gang. Plaintiff is a Christian man.

Defendants used twenty-year-old documents to classify Plaintiff as a gang member, without affording him due process under his current CDCR number, violating the California Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment. California regulations mandate prison ...


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