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Moneyham v. A. Warren

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 10, 2017

ANTHONY MONEYHAM, Plaintiff,
v.
A. WARREN, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO United States Magistrate Judge.

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

         On April 7, 2017, Plaintiff Anthony Moneyham (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, constructively filed[1] a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Fed. Bureau of Narcotics (“Bivens”), 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971). ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 7, FAC. Plaintiff sues defendants Case Manager A. Warren, Hearing Administrator Dwight Miller, Acting Administrator National Inmate Appeals Roger, Warden Richard B. Ives, and Discipline Hearing Officer D. Elliot (collectively “Defendants”), each in their individual capacity, for violation of his First and Fifth Amendment rights. Id.

         For the reasons set forth below, the FAC is dismissed with leave to amend.

         II.

         BACKGROUND

         On March 8, 2017, Plaintiff constructively filed a Complaint pursuant to Bivens against Defendants, each in their individual capacity. Dkt. 1, Compl. The claims in the Complaint are substantially similar to those alleged in the FAC. Compare id. and Dkt. 7, FAC.

         On April 7, 2017, prior to the Court's screening of the Complaint, Plaintiff constructively filed the FAC against Defendants, each in their individual capacity. Dkt. 7, FAC. Plaintiff alleges Defendants retaliated against him in violation of the First Amendment by placing him in the Special Management Unit (“SMU”) program because he filed a grievance against a staff member and requested a criminal investigation. Id. Plaintiff also alleges his SMU placement violated his due process rights under the Fifth Amendment because (a) he was denied staff representation at the hearing; (b) he was denied copies of the Disciplinary Hearing Officer (“DHO”) reports that were the grounds for his SMU placement; and (c) he was transferred to SMU in violation of a prison policy requiring completion of disciplinary segregation time and resolution of incident reports before transfer. Id.

         As to Plaintiff's allegations regarding each defendant, Plaintiff alleges defendant Warren prepared the SMU packet based in part on Plaintiff's DHO report and ignored Plaintiff's request for a staff representative. Id. Defendant Miller conducted the SMU placement hearing where Plaintiff requested a continuance so he “could ___evidence why [he] should not be designated to the SMU program.” Id. (blank in original). Defendant Miller denied the requested continuance and defendant Ives “fail[ed] to intervene.” Id. Defendant Elliot withheld disciplinary hearing reports so Plaintiff could not appeal the SMU placement. Id. Plaintiff alleges he was transferred to the SMU program despite having written an incident report, “which should have delayed the transfer.” Id. Finally, defendant Roger denied Plaintiff's appeal of the SMU placement after Plaintiff explained the retaliation in his appeal. Id.

         Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as “an injunction ordering Plaintiff['s] release from punitive segregation.” Id. at 8.

         III.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         As Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must screen the FAC and is required to dismiss the case at any time if it concludes the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).

         In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim for screening purposes, the Court applies the same pleading standard from Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rule 8”) as it would when evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain a ...


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