United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDING SERVICE OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT APPROPRIATE
AGAINST R. WICKS, AND FORWARDING SERVICE DOCUMENTS TO
PLAINTIFF FOR COMPLETION AND RETURN WITHIN THIRTY DAYS
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF
CERTAIN CLAIMS (ECF No. 28)
Barbara A. McAuliffe UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Pablo Holguin (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated
this action on March 14, 2016. Plaintiff's second amended
complaint (“SAC”), filed on June 12, 2017, is
currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 28).
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against
an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion
thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),
(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a
plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts
“are not required to indulge unwarranted
inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted).
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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss
v. United States Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th
Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted
unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with
liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility
standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678,
129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss,
572 F.3d at 969.
Summary of Plaintiff's
is currently housed at the Correctional Training Facility, in
Solodad. The events in the complaint are alleged to have
occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Avenal State Prison.
Plaintiff names R.Wicks, Correctional Lieutenant, as the sole
alleges: On December 5, 2013, Correctional Officer Qualls
while performing his assigned duties, picked up an envelope
and felt an object underneath the stamp. Qualls found a black
tar like substance in plastic. Correctional Officer Qualls
does not deliver the letter to Plaintiff. Plaintiff did not
have any knowledge and did not possess the letter.
Correctional Officer Qualls drafted and served Plaintiff with
a Rule Violation Report (“RVR”) charging
Plaintiff with introduction of a controlled substance. The
RVR was assigned to Senior Hearing Officer
(“SHO”) R. Wicks. Lt Wicks is an experienced
correctional officer who has duty to conduct inmate
disciplinary hearings and must know the regulations related
to the RVR, and in particular “possession-constructive
March 17, 2014, Wicks convened the disciplinary hearing.
Defendant Wicks asked Plaintiff how the addresser of the
envelop had Plaintiff's address and why the stamps are
off your letters in the locker. Plaintiff told Defendant Wicks
that he does not know how the addresser had his address, and
he said the stamps were for inmate Torres who collects
stamps. Defendant Wicks denied Plaintiff's request for
inmate Torres to testify as to the stamp collector evidence.
Defendant Wicks adjudicated the RVR with findings which
directly contradicted the evidence: “during testimony
[Plaintiff] could not provide details of the [stamp]
collection or where it was.” Plaintiff alleges that
this statement is a direct contradiction of the question and
answer portion of the hearing, where Plaintiff explained in
his testimony that inmate Torres was a stamp collector. In
later court proceedings, Plaintiff was exonerated of the
charged offense by a writ of habeas corpus.
alleges Defendant Wicks was obligated to familiarize himself
with the misbehavior of the inmate and how it violated Title
15; in this case the element of possession/constructive
possession. Defendant Wicks knew the RVR's
deficient state but erroneously found the RVR and its
evidence to be true. Wicks imposed arbitrary and capricious
punishment and a program change for Plaintiff.
Plaintiff's security level was raised, Plaintiff was
transferred to a different institution and had reduced
availability of self-help programs. Plaintiff's time
credits have not been restored, visitation restrictions are
not restored, and custody level remains at a higher level.
The RVR has not been purged from his file as it should have
been. The existence of the RVR has affected Plaintiff's
parole hearings and postponements of further