United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO GRANT IN PART AND
DENY IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF, 58)
OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS
McDaniel (“Plaintiff”) is a former state prisoner
proceeding pro se with this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges that he
was deprived of witnesses and evidence with regard to
disciplinary proceedings that took place in 2008. After
substantial screening, the Court previously found that the
Fourth Amended Complaint states cognizable claims for
violations of due process against Defendants Davis, Chavez,
Davis, Chavez, and Loyd have moved to dismiss the Fourth
Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. Defendant
Chavez claims that he is entitled to dismissal because he did
not administer the disciplinary proceedings, and Defendant
Loyd claims he is entitled to qualified immunity. Declining
to incorporate by reference the disciplinary hearing reports
and accepting all allegations of material fact in the Fourth
Amended Complaint as true, the undersigned finds that
Plaintiff has stated claims for violations of due process
against Defendants Davis, Chavez, and Loyd, and that
Defendant Loyd is not entitled to qualified immunity based on
the limited record before the Court at this time.
Accordingly, the undersigned recommends denying
Defendants' motion to dismiss.
filed the Complaint commencing this action on June 15, 2010.
(ECF No. 1). The Court first screened the Complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and issued an order on April 3,
2014 requiring Plaintiff to either file an amended complaint
or notify the Court of his willingness to proceed with the
claims found cognizable by the Court. (ECF No. 12). That
order also provided substantial guidance regarding the legal
standards to Plaintiff's purported claims and
instructions regarding what was needed to allege such claims
in an amendment. On August 18, 2014, Plaintiff filed the
First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 17). On September 15, 2014,
with leave of court, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended
Complaint. (ECF No. 21). On October 7, 2015, the Court
screened Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint and found
certain cognizable claims against Defendant Davis for due
process violations, and gave Plaintiff leave to amend. (ECF
No. 28). Plaintiff filed the Third Amended Complaint on
December 14, 2015. (ECF No. 33). Plaintiff then requested
leave to file a supplement. (ECF No. 34). The Court granted
leave to file a Fourth Amended Complaint on July 21, 2016.
(ECF No. 38).
filed the Fourth Amended Complaint (“FAC”) on
August 11, 2016. (ECF No. 39). The Court screened the FAC and
found that it states cognizable claims for violations of due
process against Defendants Davis, Chavez, and Loyd based on
their administration of disciplinary proceedings. (ECF Nos.
40, 41). On October 31, 2016, the Court authorized service of
the FAC. (ECF No. 42).
March 28, 2017, Defendant Loyd filed the instant motion to
dismiss. (ECF No. 58). On May 2, 2017, Defendants Chavez and
Davis filed a joinder to the motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 61).
Plaintiff has filed an opposition, and Defendants Chavez,
Davis, and Loyd (collectively “Defendants”) have
filed a reply. (ECF Nos. 65, 66).
PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS IN THE FOURTH AMENDED
Plaintiff's FAC concerns a disciplinary hearing that took
place on July 19, 2008 and resulted in the forfeiture of 150
days good time credits. The hearing was overseen by Defendant
Davis. Plaintiff alleges that the hearing was held outside
the time limit requirements without the required reporting
officer. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Davis
denied all witnesses and the requested evidence from cameras.
was given a rehearing on November 21, 2008. It is not clear
who administered the proceeding, but it appears that
Defendants Chavez and Loyd were involved. Plaintiff alleges
that the rehearing was authorized by using a tainted
document. Petitioner further alleges that the rehearing
lacked an adversarial process. All witnesses were denied, and
there was no reporting officer. Defendant Chavez ignored
Plaintiff's right to question the reporting officer and
present a defense. He also denied Plaintiff's right to
contends that a violation of the 30-day time limit should
have precluded any forfeiture of credits. The FAC alleges
that Defendants were involved in creating altered versions of
a document in order to comply with certain date requirements.
Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants Davis and Loyd
altered reports by writing “none” in the sections
REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE AND INCORPORATION BY
Loyd has filed a request that the Court take judicial notice
of Plaintiff's original complaint in McDaniel v.
Riedel, No. 1:09-cv-00437 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 9, 2009), and
the disciplinary documents and grievance materials attached
therein. (ECF No. 59). “The Court may judicially notice
a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it:
(1) is generally known within the trial court's
territorial jurisdiction; or (2) can be accurately and
readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot
reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b). Although
the Court may take judicial notice of the fact that Plaintiff
filed a complaint in a different case in this district, the
Court cannot take judicial notice of facts asserted in that
complaint or in the documents attached therein. Accordingly,
the Court denies the request for judicial notice.
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court generally may not
consider materials outside the complaint and pleadings.
Gumataotao v. Dir. of Dep't of Revenue &
Taxation, 236 F.3d 1077, 1083 (9th Cir. 2001) (citing
Cooper v. Pickett, 137 F.3d 616, 622 (9th Cir.
1998)). However, pursuant to the Ninth Circuit's
“incorporation by reference” doctrine, the
district court may-but is not required to-look beyond the
pleadings and “take into account ‘documents whose
contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no
party questions, but which are not physically attached to the
[plaintiff's] pleading.'” Davis v. HSBC
Bank Nevada, N.A., 691 F.3d 1152, 1159-60 (9th Cir.
2012) (quoting Knieval v. ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068, 1076
(9th Cir. 2005)).
FAC, Petitioner references the July 19, 2008 and November 21,
2008 hearings and refers to the contents of the hearing
reports. (ECF No. 39 at 2, 4-6, 11-18, 20-21). Respondent
claims that Petitioner does not question the authenticity of
the hearing reports. (ECF No. 58-1 at 4). While Petitioner
may not question the hearing reports' authenticity, the
FAC clearly contests the accuracy of the contents therein.
For example, the FAC alleges Defendants Davis and Loyd
altered reports by ...