United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT Re: Dkt. No. 58
NATHANAEL M. COUSINS, United States Magistrate Judge
Anthony Arteaga, a California state prisoner proceeding
pro se, filed a civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated his
right to due process, and violated the unconstitutional
conditions doctrine. The Court exercised supplemental
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claim. Defendants
have filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff has filed
an opposition, and Defendants have filed a reply. For the
reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion
for summary judgment.
following facts are taken in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff, and are undisputed unless otherwise indicated.
October 2012, the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) implemented a
“Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification, and
Management” (“STG”) pilot program. Butler
Decl. ¶ 5. The STG pilot program changed the CDCR's
gang management policy from a “status-based”
model to a “behavior-based” model that focused
less on the labelling of an inmate as a gang member or
associate, and more on that inmate's behavior. Giubino
Decl. ¶ 5. That is, once an inmate was identified and
validated as a gang member or associate, this identification
no longer automatically resulted in a Secured Housing Unit
(“SHU”) placement. Id.
significant change implemented by the STG pilot program was
the process through which inmates who had been validated as
gang members or associates could earn their way from
segregated housing back to the general population. Adams
Decl. ¶ 3. This “step down program”
(“SDP”) was an alternative procedure for inmates
to disassociate from gang activity and earn incremental
privileges without debriefing. Id. Prior to the STG
pilot program, a validated prison member or associate was
housed to an indeterminate term in the SHU for a minimum of
six years. Giurbino Decl. ¶ 7. The SDP was an
incentive-based, multi-step process, designed to be completed
in five steps within three to four years. Ducart Decl. ¶
4. It was intended to provide specific steps for inmates to
demonstrate their ability to refrain from prison gang
behavior, and prepare them for return to general population
and eventual release to the community. Id.
and 2 placed STG inmates in the SHU mainly for observation in
order to segregate and monitor their behavior. Giurbino Decl.
¶ 8. STG inmates in Steps 1 and 2 were inmates who were
deemed to present the greatest threat to others and to
institutional security. Id. These two steps were
designed to be completed within a total of 24 months, but
inmates could accelerate to the next step earlier if they met
the program requirements. Id. Most of the program
requirements could be completed within the inmate's
cells. Id. Some components of Steps 1 and 2 were
reading comprehension testing, and skill-based programming
like self-directed journals. Id.
and 4 were reintegration steps once inmates completed Steps 1
and 2. Id. ¶ 9. These steps began reintegration
with other inmates within the SDP by offering program and
privilege incentives while still being housed in segregation.
Id. Step 3 continued education and skill-based
programming components such as anger management, parenting,
and violence prevention programs. Id. Step 4
included further education and skill-based programming,
twelve-step self-help programs, and STG-diversion programs.
Id. After an inmate successfully completed all four
steps, Step 5 included eligibility for transfer into general
population and a twelve-month observation period.
Id. ¶ 10.
was originally validated as an associate of the Mexican Mafia
(“EME”) prison gang in 2002. Hubbard Decl., Ex.
A. Plaintiff was again validated as an active associate of
the EME on January 12, 2012. Id. On August 26, 2013,
Plaintiff received notice of his upcoming hearing before the
Departmental Review Board (“DRB”) for
determination of whether Plaintiff should be considered for,
and placed into, the STG pilot program. Id. ¶
7. The notice included a copy of the STG handbook and
evidence regarding Plaintiff's gang-related behavior for
the previous four years. Id. At this time, Plaintiff
was housed in California State Prison - Corcoran in the SHU.
Adams Decl. ¶ 5.
September 24, 2013, while house at California State Prison -
Corcoran, Plaintiff appeared before the DRB. Hubbard Decl.
¶¶ 5, 8 and Ex. A. At the hearing, the DRB decided
to place Plaintiff into Step 1 of the SDP. Id., Ex.
A. Plaintiff disagreed with the placement. Id.
Plaintiff informed the DRB that he would refuse to
participate in the SDP, and that he could not be forced to
participate. Thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred to Pelican
Bay State Prison (“PBSP”) SHU. Hubbard Decl.
January 29, 2014, Plaintiff was given an SDP Orientation to
“Brave Series Step 1” self-directed journaling
program, and was issued the first journal, along with a
“Readiness to Change” form. Nealy Decl., Ex. A.
The “Brave Series” is a “self-directed
journaling program for inmates housed in a SHU, and in Steps
1 and 2 of the SDP.” Id. “The journaling
program is a weekly interactive journaling program, designed
to help inmates develop a system of new values and strategies
that lead to responsible thinking and behavior. Inmates who
wish to participate are provided with a new journal, along
with a “Readiness to Change” Form (self
assessment forms) to be completed by the inmate
weekly.” Id. Plaintiff was told that he was
not required to complete the journaling assignments, but that
the failure to do so may result in Plaintiff's retention
in Step 1 or 2. Id.
in PBSP SHU, Plaintiff successfully completed Steps 1 and 2
of the SDP, including the requirement of completing
interactive self-journaling. Ducart Decl. ¶¶ 6-7
and Exs. A, B. Specifically, on March 17, 2014, Plaintiff
successfully transitioned to Step 2. Nealy Decl., Ex. C. Then
on November 12, 2014, Plaintiff appeared before the Initial
Classification Committee, who noted that Plaintiff had
successfully completed Step 2, and recommended transferring
Plaintiff to California Correctional Institute - Tehachapi or
California State Prison - Corcoran. Ducart Decl. ¶ 7,
January 2016, Plaintiff appeared before the DRB for a
determination of whether Plaintiff could be transferred from
the SHU to general population. Id. ¶ 10.
Plaintiff was ultimately transferred to PBSP's Restricted
Custody General Population Unit based on concerns for
Plaintiff's safety. Id. and Ex. C.
has filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging that
Defendants violated his right to due process when they
required him to undergo “cognitive behavioral therapy,
” which includes participating in the interactive
journaling component of the SDP. He also claims that
Defendants violated the unconstitutional conditions doctrine,
and raises a state law claim.
Standard of Review
Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings, discovery,
and affidavits show there is “no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the
case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine
if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. See id.
shall grant summary judgment “against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial[, ] . . . since
a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element
of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all
other facts immaterial.” See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The moving party
bears the initial burden of identifying those portions of the
record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. Id. The burden then shifts to the
nonmoving party to “go beyond the pleadings and by
[his] own affidavits, or by the ‘depositions, answers
to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate
‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.'” See Id. at 324 (citing
purposes of summary judgment, the court must view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party;
if the evidence produced by the moving party conflicts with
evidence produced by the nonmoving party, the court must
assume the truth of the evidence submitted by the nonmoving
party. See Leslie v. Grupo ICA, 198 F.3d 1152, 1158
(9th Cir. 1999). The court's function on a summary
judgment motion is not to make credibility determinations or
weigh conflicting evidence with respect to a disputed
material fact. See T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., v. Pac. Elec.
Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
move for summary judgment, arguing that: (1) Plaintiff was
not denied due process; (2) Defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity; (3) Plaintiff's request for
injunctive relief should be denied as moot; (4) Defendants
did not violate the unconstitutional conditions doctrine; (5)
Plaintiff's state law claim should be dismissed for
failing to comply with the California Tort Claims Act; and
(6) the Court should decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claim. The Court
addresses each argument below.