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Wright v. Macomber

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 24, 2017

DOMINIC VA'SHON WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFF MACOMBER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding without counsel, with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 8, 2016, the undersigned dismissed plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 8.) Pending before the court is plaintiff's amended complaint. (ECF No. 13.) For the reasons stated herein, the amended complaint is dismissed with leave to amend.

         Plaintiff's Claims

         Named as defendants are Warden Macomber, Associate Warden Eldridge, Correctional Counselor Hontz, Captain Roth, Correctional Officer Masterson and Reames.[1]

         Plaintiff alleges that on September 3, 2014, defendant Macomber told plaintiff that defendant Roth had a “personal problem” with plaintiff. (Id. at 5.) On September 4, 2014, plaintiff was involved in an incident on the yard. (Id.) Plaintiff suffered a broken jaw after fighting with two other inmates. (Id. at 5, 7.) Defendant Roth allegedly placed plaintiff in administrative segregation (“ad seg”) without medical attention and filed charges against plaintiff. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Roth released the other two inmates involved in the incident from their cages without placing them in ad seg pending an investigation, which would have been normal procedure. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that he filed emergency 602s regarding his placement in ad seg and requesting medical attention. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he wrote to defendant Macomber but was “put off” to someone else. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he was denied access to an Institutional Classification Committee (“ICC”) after his placement in ad seg, in violation of regulations. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that every inmate has the right to hear why they are being charged and placed in ad seg. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that on October 18, 2014, he filed a grievance challenging his placement in ad seg. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Hontz came to ad seg to speak with plaintiff regarding the grievance. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he pointed out the errors in the paperwork that was filed to place him in ad seg. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Hontz told plaintiff, “We'll have to bring you back to committee and correct the charges.” (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Hontz also said, “We only put [plaintiff] here (ad seg) for a while, so you act right on the yard.” (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Hontz knew that the paperwork was false and asked plaintiff to drop the grievance. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he was held in ad seg from September 4, 2014, to October 9, 2015. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant Eldridge heard the 602 that plaintiff filed on October 18, 2014. (Id.) Defendant Eldridge allegedly filed a false statement and allowed the ad seg placement order to stand. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Eldridge allowed defendant Roth's personal vendetta against plaintiff to continue. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant Masterson filed false (disciplinary) charges against plaintiff based on the September 4, 2014 incident. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Masterson falsely stated that plaintiff was the problem in the incident. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant Reames knew that defendant Masterson was going to file a false report against plaintiff based on the September 4, 2014 incident. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff alleges claims that on August 25, 2014, defendant Masterson falsely charged plaintiff with possessing a knife. (Id. at 6-7.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Reames investigated this charge and found no merit it to. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant Reames knew that the charges based on the September 4, 2014 incident were false because defendant Masterson had filed false charges against him on August 25, 2014. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that on September 4, 2014, defendant Reames told plaintiff, “If you don't talk up now, Masterson is going to get you.” (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant Reames failed to report defendant Masterson's unprofessional behavior. (Id.)

         Discussion

         Alleged Due Process Claims Based on Placement in Ad Seg and Disciplinary Charges Plaintiff alleges that defendant Roth placed plaintiff in ad seg on September 4, 2014, and denied him medical care because defendant Roth had a “personal problem” with plaintiff. Plaintiff appears to allege that defendants Hontz, Eldridge and Masterson conspired with defendant Roth to “continue” defendant Roth's “vendetta” against him by filing false disciplinary charges and apparently ordering plaintiff's retention in ad seg.

         There is no due process right to be free from false disciplinary charges. The falsification of a disciplinary report does not state a standalone constitutional claim. See Luster v. Amezcua, 2017 WL 772141 at *5 (E.D. Cal. 2017). Specifically, “the fact that a prisoner may have been innocent of disciplinary charges brought against him and incorrectly held in administrative segregation does not raise a due process issue. The Constitution demands due process, not error-free decision-making.” Jones v. Woodward, 2015 WL 1014257, *2 (E.D. Cal. 2015) (citing Ricker v. Leapley, 25 F.3d 1406, 1410 (8th ...


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