United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISCHARGING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE (ECF No. 16)
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS CASE WITH PREJUDICE
(ECF No. 17)
Michael J. Seng UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
DAY OBJECTION DEADLINE
is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. He has declined Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No.
7.) No other parties have appeared.
initiated this action on August 30, 2016 against Defendant M.
Black. (ECF No. 1.) On January 17, 2017, the Court dismissed
Plaintiff's civil rights complaint on the grounds that
his claims appeared to be precluded by an earlier filed suit,
Everett v. Brazelton, Case No. 1:12-cv-00680-BAM
(“Everett I”). (ECF No. 9.) Plaintiff
was given leave to file an amended complaint if he believed
his claims were not so barred.
requested and was granted two extensions of time to file his
amended complaint. On April 19, 2017, the Court denied
Plaintiff's third request for an extension and directed
Plaintiff to file his amended complaint within fourteen days
of the Court's order. (ECF No. 15.) More than fourteen
days passed without Plaintiff filing an amended complaint.
Accordingly, on May 8, 2017 the Court issued an order to show
cause why Plaintiff's case should not be dismissed for
failure to obey a Court order. (ECF No. 16.) On that same
date, Plaintiff's first amended complaint was filed with
the Court. (ECF No. 17.) For the reasons set forth below, the
Court will accept and review the belatedly filed amended
complaint, but recommend its dismissal with prejudice. Having
received Plaintiff's amended complaint, the Court will
discharge the Order to Show Cause issued on May 8, 2017 and
proceed to screen the amended pleading.
Plaintiff's Claims Precluded by Everett
factual allegations remain unchanged. As summarized in the
Court's first screening order, Plaintiff complains of
acts that took place at Pleasant Valley State Prison
(“PVSP”) in Coalinga, California. He sues
Defendant M. Black, Investigative Services Unit
(“ISU”) Officer, for violating his procedural and
substantive due process rights.
claims stem from a 2008 Rules Violation Report issued by
Defendant Black accusing Plaintiff of conspiring to
distribute a controlled substance. As a result of the
accusation, Plaintiff was placed in the administrative
segregation unit and eventually found guilty of the charge.
Plaintiff claims that the procedures he was afforded leading
up to and during his RVR hearing were deficient because
Defendant intentionally falsified statements and evidence
against Plaintiff, and in any case, the evidence presented
was insufficient to find Plaintiff guilty. Plaintiff seeks to
have his guilty finding expunged from his record, as well as
compensatory and punitive damages.
facts are identical to the facts underlying Everett
I. Plaintiff filed Everett I pursuant to §
1983 on April 11, 2012, complaining about the same false
disciplinary charges filed by the same Defendant. See
Everett v. Brazelton, Case No. 1:12-cv -
00680-BAM. (See Order Dismissing Case,
Everett I, No. 1:12-cv-00680-BAM (E.D. Cal. Jan. 28,
2016) ECF No. 31.) In that case, Plaintiff alleged that he
lost good time credit because of Defendant's actions, and
he sought an order vacating his guilty finding and restoring
the lost credit. (Id. at 3.) The court dismissed
Plaintiff's case as barred by Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477 (1994), which states that a claim cannot be
brought pursuant to § 1983 if success on the claim would
necessarily imply the invalidity of an inmate's
conviction or sentence. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff sought
reconsideration of the Court's dismissal, arguing that
his suit his suit challenged only the validity of his
disciplinary proceedings, not the result, and was thus
cognizable under § 1983. (Mot. for Recon., Everett
I, No. 1:12-cv-00680-BAM (E.D. Cal. Mar. 11, 2016) ECF
No. 33.) In an order denying Plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration, the Court reaffirmed its finding that the
suit was Heck-barred, and furthermore found that
Plaintiff's factual allegations failed to state a claim
under § 1983. (Order Den. Mot. for Recon., Everett
I, No. 1:12-cv-00680-BAM (E.D. Cal. Dec. 15, 2016) ECF
No. 34.) Plaintiff's instant filing restates the facts of
Everett I, with the addition of a plea for monetary
relief and without mention of his good time credits.
noted in the Court's first screening order, instant case
is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The
doctrine of res judicata, or claim preclusion, bars
litigation of claims that were or could have been raised in a
prior action, Holcombe v. Hosmer, 477 F.3d 1094,
1097 (9th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks omitted), and it
"requires three things: (1) identity of claims; (2) a
final judgment on the merits; and (3) the same parties, or
privity between parties," Harris v. Cty. of
Orange, 682 F.3d 1126, 1132 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing
Cell Therapeutics, Inc. v. Lash Grp., Inc., 586 F.3d
1204, 1212 (9th Cir. 2010)).
deciding whether there is an identity of claims, courts are
to apply four criteria: "'(1) whether rights or
interests established in the prior judgment would be
destroyed or impaired by prosecution of the second action;
(2) whether substantially the same evidence is presented in
the two actions; (3) whether the two suits involve
infringement of the same right; and (4) whether the two suits
arise out of the same transactional nucleus of
facts.'" Harris, 682 F.3d at 1132 (quoting
United States v. Liquidators of European Fed. Credit
Bank, 630 F.3d 1139, 1150 (9th Cir. 2011)). "The
fourth criterion -the same transactional nucleus of facts -
is the most important." Liquidators of European Fed.
Credit Bank, 630 F.3d at 1151.
there is an identity of claims. Both cases involve the same
factual allegations and would proceed on the same potential
evidence. In each case, Plaintiff sought or seeks a
determination that his disciplinary proceedings were
constitutionally deficient. The only difference between the
cases is that Plaintiff here omits a particular item of
relief he sought previously. It appears Plaintiff does so in
hopes of proceeding on the merits of his claims under §
the Court in Everett I already found Plaintiff's
claims under § 1983 were not cognizable. (Order Den.
Mot. for Recon. at 4) (“More importantly, Plaintiff has
not stated any cognizable claim under § 1983, despite
being informed of the deficiencies of his claims and being
granted leave to amend.”) To consider providing any
relief for Plaintiff's claims here, even if less than
what he sought previously, would require re-litigation of
exactly the same facts and law litigated and finally resolved
in Plaintiff's previous case. There is nothing about the
change in relief sought that would impact the outcome of the
factual and legal determinations made previously or produce a
different result; to the extent ...