United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR
FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1.)
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL THIRTY-DAY
DEADLINE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Timberland (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil
rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.
Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on June
27, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate
Judge jurisdiction in this action. (ECF No. 5.)
Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the court for
screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
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).
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
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
is presently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison (CSP) in
Corcoran, California, where the events at issue allegedly
occurred. Plaintiff names as defendants G. Mascarenas
(Correctional Counselor I (CCI)), D. Patterson (CCI), J.
Pierce (Institutional Gang Investigation (IGI) Officer), M.
Cuevas (Sergeant), A. Maxfield (CCII), and M. Sexton (Chief
Deputy Warden) (collectively “Defendants”), who
were all employed at CSP at the time of the events at issue.
Plaintiff's factual allegations follow.
April 1, 2015, Plaintiff arrived at CSP to complete a
determinate SHU term of 48 months after being found guilty
of a Rules Violation for conspiracy to murder a peace
1, 2015, in the morning, an unknown female staff member
appeared at Plaintiff's cell door and started talking to
him. Plaintiff could not hear what she was saying because of
the noise of the big fans in the dayroom. Plaintiff thought
she might be a psych tech making her daily rounds. Plaintiff
yelled to her, “Hey, it's okay, I don't want to
hurt myself or anyone else, you can go now.” ECF No. 1
at 6 ¶13. This was the standard answer they want to
hear. The woman looked at Plaintiff, obviously irate, said
“Oh, yeah? We'll see about that, a**hole, ”
and walked away. Id. Plaintiff does not know who she
was but wonders if she was his assigned counselor, G.
Mascarenas, who he has not met or seen since.
5, 2015, Plaintiff's initial Institutional Classification
Committee (ICC) hearing was held “in absentia, ”
as Plaintiff had no prior notice or opportunity to attend in
person. All of the Defendants attended the hearing, according
to the Classification Committee Chrono dated April 29, 2015.
Defendant Mascarenas was Plaintiff's assigned counselor
during the meeting; Defendant Patterson was Plaintiff's
assigned staff assistant during the meeting; Defendants
Pierce and Cuevas were additional committee members present
at the hearing; Defendant Maxfield was the recorder of the
meeting; and defendant Sexton was the chairperson of the
11, 2015, Officer Tabarez [not a defendant] slid an envelope
under Plaintiff's cell door and said, “I think one
of the counselors gave this to the guy in cell #10 last week
sometime. At least he gave it back.” ECF No. 1 at 7
¶15. Plaintiff opened the envelope and read the document
inside, realizing that it was a Classification Committee
Chrono dated April 29, 2015. The document referred to an
initial ICC hearing held on May 5, 2015, and contained
personal information about Plaintiff's history.
document contained many fraudulent statements that had
apparently been entered into Plaintiff's case file.
Because of the date of the document, Plaintiff thought it may
have been generated before the May 5 hearing. Plaintiff
realized that if the lies on the document about him were read
by other inmates, especially by validated gang members or
associates, Plaintiff would be at great risk of death. The
document referred to Plaintiff's prior SNY (Sensitive
Needs Yard) status, which the general population (GP) inmates
refer to as PC's (Protective Custody). The SNY inmates
are known to be child molesters, rapists, and snitches, all
of whom are targeted for death.
on May 14, 2015, Plaintiff has been under a constant and
escalating barrage of verbal and written threats of death by
both GP and SNY inmates of all races. Plaintiff has been spit
on, speared by a homemade arrow, and suffered many attempts
by other inmates to gas him (feces and urine mixed together
and thrown at him). These threats have caused Plaintiff to
refuse yard time and showers. Plaintiff knows this will not
change for the remainder of his sentence, until 2044, and he
expects to have to serve the remainder of his sentence housed
in segregation. There will also be a threat if Plaintiff
takes a cell mate, as this would definitely be a
kill-or-be-killed situation. Plaintiff is deeply depressed,
paranoid, exhausted, and stressed. He suffers from physical
and mental anguish, thinks about taking his life, has lost
his appetite, lost and gained weight, damaged his ligaments
and tendons, had seizures, and suffers from stiffness in his
back. Plaintiff takes various prescribed medications for pain
and mental stress, which cause unwanted side effects.
Plaintiff has related his feelings to administrative,
custody, and mental health staff several times.
believes that Defendants' disregard of his safety has
caused him to be targeted for death. Plaintiff alleges that
his counselor, defendant G. Mascarenas, filed fraudulent
statements about Plaintiff during the May 5, 2015, hearing
which Plaintiff was not allowed to attend. Plaintiff also
alleges that defendant Mascarenas gave Plaintiff's
paperwork to another inmate, instructing this inmate to pass
it around, knowing that the labelling of Plaintiff as a
snitch caused Plaintiff to be under risk of serious harm.
alleges that defendant D. Patterson allowed the fraudulent
information to be entered into the record without verifying
the information. Plaintiff also alleges that defendant
Patterson failed to notify him of the date of the hearing and
his rights to attend the hearing.
alleges that defendants J. Pierce, M. Cuevas, A. Maxfield,
and M. Sexton failed to check the veracity of fraudulent
information presented during the May 5, 2015, hearing and
allowed it to be entered into Plaintiff's central file as
requests monetary, declaratory, and injunctive relief.
Plaintiff also requests appointment of counsel.