United States District Court, E.D. California
MARK A. JONES, Plaintiff
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING
DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOCUMENT 54)
THIRTY-DAY OBJECTION DEADLINE ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY HEARING (DOCUMENT 55)
L. Beck UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Mark A. Jones (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action. Plaintiff filed his complaint on December 3, 2012. It
is proceeding on his Second Amended Complaint against
Defendant Maxfield for retaliation in violation of the First
Maxfield filed the instant motion for summary judgment on
March 1, 2016.In opposition, Plaintiff filed a motion for
an evidentiary hearing. Defendant filed a reply, along with
evidentiary objections, on June 28, 2016. The motion is ready
for decision pursuant to Local Rule 230(l).
party may move for summary judgment, and the Court shall
grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)
(quotation marks omitted); Washington Mutual Inc. v.
U.S., 636 F.3d 1207, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). Each
party’s position, whether it be that a fact is disputed
or undisputed, must be supported by (1) citing to particular
parts of materials in the record, including but not limited
to depositions, documents, declarations, or discovery; or (2)
showing that the materials cited do not establish the
presence or absence of a genuine dispute or that the opposing
party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1) (quotation marks omitted). The Court
may consider other materials in the record not cited to by
the parties, but it is not required to do so. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(3); Carmen v. San Francisco Unified School
Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); accord
Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017
(9th Cir. 2010).
does not bear the burden of proof at trial and in moving for
summary judgment, she need only prove an absence of evidence
to support Plaintiff’s case. In re Oracle Corp.
Securities Litigation, 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir. 2010)
(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323,
106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986)). If Defendant meets her initial
burden, the burden then shifts to Plaintiff “to
designate specific facts demonstrating the existence of
genuine issues for trial.” In re Oracle Corp.,
627 F.3d at 387 (citing Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at
323). This requires Plaintiff to “show more than the
mere existence of a scintilla of evidence.”
Id. (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986)).
judging the evidence at the summary judgment stage, the Court
may not make credibility determinations or weigh conflicting
evidence, Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509
F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks and citation
omitted), and it must draw all inferences in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party and determine whether a
genuine issue of material fact precludes entry of judgment,
Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo
Beach, 657 F.3d 936, 942 (9th Cir. 2011) (quotation
marks and citation omitted), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 1566
(2012). The Court determines only whether there is a genuine
issue for trial, and Plaintiff’s filings must be
liberally construed because he is a pro se prisoner.
Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144, 1150 (9th Cir.
2010) (quotation marks and citations omitted).
OF PLAINTIFF’S ALLEGATIONS
times relevant to Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant
Maxfield, he was housed at the California State
Administrative Segregation Unit (“Ad-Seg”) and
the Security Housing Unit (“SHU”).
alleges that Defendant Maxfield retaliated against him after
he confronted her “with the facts of his gang
affiliation and that he is no gang member.” ECF No. 20,
at 28. On May 20, 2012, Plaintiff showed Defendant two CDCR
128G chronos that demonstrated that he was not a Black
Guerilla Family (“BGF”) member.
Maxfield then became angry with Plaintiff and started putting
“lies” on his CDCR 128G Chrono to make his arrest
record look worse. ECF No. 20, at 28. Specifically, Plaintiff
contends that Defendant Maxfield placed an “R”
suffix on his chrono so that he would be transferred to a
higher security prison.
filed his first grievance on August 13, 2012. Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant Maxfield repeatedly threatened to
transfer him for filing a grievance about his BGF membership.
UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS
is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) and was
incarcerated at Corcoran from March 9, 2011, through March 4,
2014. Plaintiff was a Level IV inmate while housed at
Corcoran and was housed in Ad-Seg from February 2, 2012,
through July 30, 2012, and the SHU from July 30, 2012, until
his transfer to Pelican Bay State Prison (“Pelican
Bay”) on March 7, 2014. Pl.’s Dep. 15:20-16:17
(attached as Ex. I to Mayer Decl.).
all relevant times, Defendant Maxfield worked as
Corcoran’s Ad-Seg Correctional Counselor I
(“CC-I”). Maxfield Decl. ¶ 2. Her duties
included reviewing an inmate’s file and making
placement recommendations to the Institutional Classification
Committee (“ICC”). Maxfield Decl. ¶ 4. The
ICC would then vote on the recommendations and send them to
the Classification Staff Representative (“CSR”)
for endorsement. Maxfield Decl. ¶ 5.
February 2, 2012, Plaintiff was transferred from
Corcoran’s Level IV General Population to Ad-Seg based
on an investigation into his association/affiliation with the
BGF prison gang. A validation package was submitted to the
Office of Correctional Safety (“OCS”) for
validation review. Defendant Maxfield was not involved in
this process. Maxfield Decl. ¶ 9.
on Plaintiff’s transfer to Ad-Seg, Defendant Maxfield
was his assigned CC-I and caseworker. Maxfield Decl. ¶
10; Pl’s Dep. 62:18-63:2.
Maxfield met with Plaintiff before his initial Ad-Seg Review
Committee to explain the Committee process and discuss what
her initial recommendations to the Committee would be.
Maxfield Decl. ¶ 10; Pl.’s Dep.
Plaintiff’s February 16, 2012, Initial Ad-Seg Review
Committee hearing, Defendant Maxfield was the assigned
Recorder for this ICC. The ICC elected to refer
Plaintiff’s case to the CSR, recommending that
Plaintiff be retained in Ad-Seg for an additional ninety days
pending the gang re-validation process by OCS. Plaintiff
disagreed with his placement in Ad-Seg and the gang
validation process. Maxfield Decl. ¶ 10, Ex. A.
April 5, 2012, Plaintiff was re-validated as a member of the
BGF. At that time, validated gang members were typically
housed in either Corcoran’s SHU or Pelican Bay’s
SHU to serve their indeterminate SHU terms. Maxfield Decl.
¶¶ 12, 13, Ex. C.
April 26, 2012, another ICC was held based on
Plaintiff’s validation. Defendant Maxfield was
Plaintiff’s caseworker and Recorder for this ICC. The
ICC elected to refer Plaintiff’s case to CSR,
recommending transfer to Corcoran’s SHU, with an
alternate recommendation to Pelican Bay’s SHU, for an
indeterminate SHU term. Plaintiff ...