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Mundo v. Taylor

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 8, 2017

A. TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.



         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Jonathan W. Mundo (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filed on November 5, 2015. (ECF No. 1.) On November 30, 2015, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 13.) On December 9, 2015, Plaintiff lodged the Second Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 16.) On January 6, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend and lodged the Third Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 17, 18.) On January 20, 2016, the court granted Plaintiff's motion to amend and filed the Third Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 19, 20.) The court screened the Third Amended Complaint and issued an order on January 29, 2016, dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. (ECF No. 25.) On February 10, 2016, Plaintiff filed the Fourth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 26.) The court screened the Fourth Amended Complaint and issued an order on May 18, 2016, requiring Plaintiff to either amend the complaint or notify the court that he was willing to proceed only on the Eighth Amendment claims found cognizable by the court. (ECF No. 29.) On June 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed the Fifth Amended Complaint which is now before the court for screening. (ECF No. 32.)


         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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (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). To state a viable claim, 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 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.


         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs, Nevada. The events at issue in this case allegedly occurred at Pleasant Valley State Prison (“PVSP”) in Coalinga, California, and at Centinela State Prison (“CSP”) in Imperial, California, when Plaintiff was incarcerated at those facilities in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Plaintiff names as defendants PVSP Classification Staff Representative A. Taylor, CSP Correctional Counselor F. Salgado, CSP Correctional Counselor Raybon, and CSP Facility Captain Arias.

         Plaintiff's allegations follow. In 2014, at PVSP D-Yard, Plaintiff was approached by his friend, another inmate. He informed Plaintiff that he overheard inmate Amaya (also known by his monikor “Sneaks”) say he was going to kill Plaintiff because of Plaintiff's brother's involvement in a gang feud.

         A few minutes later, inmate Amaya and another inmate asked Plaintiff if he wanted to play basketball. Plaintiff declined and began walking to the other side of the yard to wait for the tower officer to recall the yard.

         Once the yard was recalled, Plaintiff walked towards the medical office and told the officer coming out of the office that his life was in danger and he could no longer program safely on D-Yard. The officer handcuffed Plaintiff and escorted him to the program office where he was interrogated about the incident.

         Plaintiff was then taken to Administrative Segregation and interviewed by two IGI officers. The officers assured Plaintiff that Inmate Amaya would be placed on his offender separation list using a CDCR 812 form.

         The next day Plaintiff was transferred to A-Yard, where he was told he had no listed enemies. Plaintiff programmed safely on A-Yard for several months. On May 15, 2015, Plaintiff was endorsed to CSP through an auditor action authored by defendant Taylor. Defendant Taylor noted that Plaintiff had offender separation alerts under “enemy concerns.” Defendant Taylor also noted Plaintiff's confidential file, which indicated that inmate Amaya was a perceived real and imminent threat who is capable of substantially harming Plaintiff and that Amaya poses a serious risk, making separation necessary. Defendant Taylor, despite having knowledge of the actual location of both inmates at the time he authored the auditor action, ignored the information and continued the endorsement.

         Plaintiff arrived at CSP on May 29, 2015.

         On June 9, 2015, Plaintiff was called into the program office where defendants Salgado, Raybon, and Arias were waiting to commence a Unit Classification Committee (“UCC”) hearing. During the hearing, defendants Salgado, Raybon, and Arias noted both Plaintiff's confidential file and offender separation alerts.

         Defendants Salgado, Raybon, and Arias ignored the information regarding the location of Plaintiff's enemies listed in the offender separation alerts and confidential file and caused harm to Plaintiff. They never took action to prevent Plaintiff from being housed with Amaya during his brief stay at CSP.

         After the UCC hearing, Plaintiff walked out into the hallway where other inmates were within arm's reach and he proceeded to the exit past the inmate workers when he heard defendant Salgado yell to him, “You better watch your back for snitching, motherfucker.” ECF No. 32 at 10 ¶13. Plaintiff pretended not to hear him.

         On July 7, 2015, while Plaintiff was in the gym bathroom, an inmate approached and said, “Sneaks got a message for you, ” and then punched Plaintiff in the face and walked away. ECF No. 32 at 10 ...

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