United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
with an action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. By
findings and recommendations filed March 1, 2017, the
undersigned found that plaintiff's first amended
complaint failed to cure the defects in the original
complaint and that further leave to amend would be futile and
recommended dismissal of this action with prejudice. (ECF No.
17.) Plaintiff has timely filed objections to the findings
and recommendations (ECF No. 21) along with a second amended
complaint (ECF No. 20). Because the allegations in the second
amended complaint are sufficient to state a claim against one
of the defendants, the March 1, 2017 findings and
recommendations will be withdrawn and the undersigned will
screen the second amended complaint.
Second Amended Complaint
alleges that defendants Anderson, Franco, Caplin, Leckie,
Shultz, Peterson, Bagler, and Cohayal violated his rights
under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. (ECF No.
20.) Specifically, he alleges that defendant Anderson
violated his Eighth Amendment rights by constantly banging on the
prison bars and shining a flashlight in his face between
10:30 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., five days a week, for a period of
six months in order to deprive him of sleep. (Id. at
5, 10-11.) He further alleges that after he complained about
Anderson's conduct, which led to Anderson being
disciplined, Anderson voiced his displeasure with plaintiff
and retaliated against him by displaying increased aggression
and continuing his behavior. (Id. at 5.) As a result
of the prolonged sleep deprivation, plaintiff was rushed to
the hospital “for chest pains, stress heart related
mental or physical injury.” (Id. at 11.)
further alleges that defendant Franco violated his Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights when he filed a false
disciplinary report against plaintiff that resulted in the
loss of thirty days of exercise rights. (Id. at 20.)
Defendant Leckie then violated his Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights by denying him a fair disciplinary hearing
and imposing a thirty-day loss of exercise rights when the
maximum allowed by policy is ten days. (Id. at
13-14.) Defendant Caplin allegedly violated his rights under
the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments by destroying
and refusing to respond to an informal complaint related to
the false disciplinary report and by making false statements
about plaintiff. (Id. at 8, 14-15.) During a
rehearing on the disciplinary charge, defendant Shultz
violated plaintiff's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
rights by placing him “twice in jeopardy for a single
act and aggravating the adverse punishment for successful
appeal.” (Id. at 16.) It appears that he may
also be attempting to make retaliation claims against
defendants Leckie and Shultz related to their conduct during
the disciplinary hearings. (Id. at 14, 17.)
defendants Peterson, Bagler, and Cohayal allegedly refused to
process plaintiff's grievances related to the other
defendants' actions. (Id. at 3, 6, 9.)
Claims for Which a Response Will Be Required
Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, but
neither does it permit inhumane ones.” Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). “[A] prison official
violates the Eighth Amendment only when two requirements are
met. First, the deprivation alleged must be, objectively,
sufficiently serious, a prison official's act or omission
must result in the denial of the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities.” Id. at 834 (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). Second, the prison
official must subjectively have a sufficiently culpable state
of mind, “one of deliberate indifference to inmate
health or safety.” Id. (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted). The official is not liable
under the Eighth Amendment unless he “knows of and
disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the
official must both be aware of facts from which the inference
could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm
exists, and he must also draw the inference.”
Id. at 837. Then he must fail to take reasonable
measures to abate the substantial risk of serious harm.
Id. at 847.
conceptions of decency inherent in the Eighth Amendment
require that [inmates] be housed in an environment that, if
not quiet, is at least reasonably free of excess
noise.'” Keenan v. Hall, 83 F.3d 1083,
1090 (9th Cir. 1996) (alteration in original) (quoting
Toussaint v. McCarthy, 597 F.Supp. 1388, 1397, 1410
(N.D. Cal. 1984), aff'd in part, rev'd in part on
other grounds, 801 F.2d 1080, 1110 (9th Cir.1986)).
Conditions which cause prolonged sleep deprivation may
violate an inmate's rights under the Eighth Amendment.
Id. at 1090-91 (six months of constant illumination
in cell that led to “‘grave sleeping
problems' and other mental and psychological
problems” sufficient to state claim under Eighth
allegation that defendant Anderson deliberately banged on the
prison bars and repeatedly shined a flashlight in his face
between 10:30 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., five days a week, for a
period of six months in order to deprive him of sleep is
sufficient to state a claim for a violation of
plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights and defendant
Anderson will be required to respond to this claim.
of retaliation against a prisoner's First Amendment
rights to speech or to petition the government may support a
section 1983 claim. Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527,
531-32 (9th Cir. 1985); Pratt v. Rowland, 65 F.3d
802, 806 (9th Cir. 1995).
Within the prison context, a viable claim of First Amendment
retaliation entails five basic elements: (1) An assertion
that a state actor took some adverse action against an inmate
(2) because of (3) that prisoner's protected conduct, and
that such action (4) chilled the inmate's exercise of his
First Amendment rights, and (5) the action did not reasonably
advance a legitimate correctional goal.
Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567-68 (9th Cir.
2005) (footnote and citations omitted). Plaintiff's
allegation that Anderson voiced his displeasure with
plaintiff and became more aggressive in his harassment of
plaintiff after he was disciplined because of plaintiff's
complaints is sufficient to state a claim for retaliation and
Anderson will also be required to respond to this claim.
Failure to State a Claim
False Disciplinary Report
do not have a right to be free from false accusations of
misconduct, so the mere falsification of a report does not
give rise to a claim under § 1983. Sprouse v.
Babcock, 870 F.2d 450, 452 (8th Cir. 1989)
(“Sprouse's claims based on the falsity of the
charges and the impropriety of Babcock's involvement in
the grievance procedure, standing alone, do not state
constitutional claims.”); Freeman v. Rideout,808 F.2d 949, 951 (2nd Cir. 1986) (“The prison inmate
has no constitutionally guaranteed immunity from being
falsely or wrongly accused of conduct which may result in the
deprivation of a protected liberty interest.”);
Hanrahan v. Lane, 747 F.2d 1137, 1141 (7th Cir.
1984) (“[A]n allegation that a prison guard planted
false evidence which implicates an inmate in a disciplinary
infraction fails to state a claim for which relief can be
granted where the procedural due process protections . . .
are provided.”); Cauthen v. Rivera, No.
1:12-cv-01747 LJO DLB PC, 2013 WL 1820260, at *10, 2013 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 62472, at *24 (E.D. Cal. April 30, 2013)
(“The issuance of Rules Violation Reports, even if
false, does not rise to the level of cruel and unusual
punishment.” (citing Uribe v. Taylor, No.
2:10-cv-02615 DAD P, 2012 WL 4953176, at *7, 2012 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 148229, at *20-22 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 12, 2012)); Jones
v. Prater, No. 2:10-cv-01381 JAM KJN P, 2012 WL 1979225,
at *2, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76486, at *5-6 (E.D. Cal. June
1, 2012) (“[P]laintiff cannot state a cognizable Eighth
Amendment violation based on an allegation that defendants
issued a false rules violation against plaintiff.”);
Lopez v. Celaya, No. C 06-5071 TEH (PR), 2008 WL
205256, at *5, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8898, at *12 (N.D. Cal.
Jan. 23, 2008) (“A ...