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Washington v. Cicone

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 5, 2017

MICHAEL WASHINGTON, Plaintiff,
v.
J. CICONE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF [ECF No. 1]

         Plaintiff Michael Washington is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff consented to United States Magistrate Judge jurisdiction, and Defendants declined jurisdiction; therefore, this matter was referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302.

         Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, which was removed from state court and filed in this Court on April 12, 2017.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         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 “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         A complaint must 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)). Plaintiff must demonstrate that each named defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-677; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-1021 (9th Cir. 2010).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now higher, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted), and to survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         On September 24, 2015, while Plaintiff was housed at Corcoran State Prison, he allowed inmate Williams to watch Plaintiff's RCA television due to a disagreement over the dayroom television. Plaintiff asked inmate Williams to store the television inside his locker once the football game was over, and inmate Williams did so. However, Defendant correctional officer Padilla went into the dorm and confiscated Plaintiff's television from Williams, as there was racial tension amongst African-American and Hispanic inmates over the dayroom television. Plaintiff was advised that inmate Perez told officer Padilla (who is Hispanic) that Plaintiff's television was inside Williams's locker. After Plaintiff's television was confiscated, Plaintiff approached Padilla with the receipts for his television, and Padilla was unprofessional about the matter. Padilla told Plaintiff to write him up because he was not getting his television back.

         On September 26, 2013, Defendant sergeant J. Cicone, had Plaintiff placed in administrative segregation based on confidential information he received of a threat by Plaintiff that he was going to kill Padilla if he did not return his television. Plaintiff contends that because confidential information was used against him, he was denied his rights under the Sixth Amendment.

         On October 2, 2015, B. Phillips was assigned as Plaintiff's investigative employee. Plaintiff spoke with Phillips about the incident on September 26, 2015, and Plaintiff presented a list of fourteen witnesses he wished for Phillips to interview. However, Phillips refused to take the list of witnesses.

         On October 8, 2015, Plaintiff received Phillips' report and it indicated that Plaintiff did not request any witnesses and was not in need of assistance at his disciplinary hearing. Plaintiff requested a new investigator to be appointed and postponement of the disciplinary hearing. However, Plaintiff never received a response to his request.

         On October 18, 2015, Plaintiff signed a postponement and waiver of the disciplinary hearing; however, the hearing proceeded forward. Plaintiff was not allowed to have witness testimony considered or present documentary evidence in support of his defense. Plaintiff was found guilty of the rules violation report and received a loss of sixty days good-time credits as well as other privileges.

         On June 1, 2016, Plaintiff requested the findings of the rules violation report and discovered that Dr. K. Geis indicated that he conducted a psyche evaluation on Plaintiff. However, Plaintiff contends that Dr. Geis never performed a psyche evaluation on him between the months of March to November 2015. Plaintiff was not taking any psyche medication. After Plaintiff was found guilty of the offense, he was placed on a transportation bus, despite the fact that he was suffering from mental health problems.

         III. ...


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