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Moore v. Ali

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 2, 2019

KASHIF ALI, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding pro se. Plaintiff's motion to reinstate this action following his voluntary dismissal is before the court. As discussed below, plaintiff's motion is denied without prejudice to its renewal.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff is presently housed at a Conservation Fire Camp, TRCC#3, in Lewiston, California. At the time he filed this action, plaintiff was housed at the California Correctional Center (“CCI”) in Susanville. (ECF No. 1 at 3.) On March 25, 2019, this action was dismissed pursuant to plaintiff's request for voluntary dismissal.

         On May 23, 2019, plaintiff filed a motion to reinstate his complaint.[1] In addition, he asks the court to order “previous Doe defendants, now Suzanne Peery, J. Randall, and R. Martinez, ” to reinstate plaintiff's January 12, 2020 release date, advancing the release date from March 5, 2020. (ECF No. 6 at 3, 9.) Plaintiff notes that he was returned to camp on March 28, 2019, but his release date was not changed. (ECF No. 6 at 3.) Finally, plaintiff seeks leave to amend his complaint to update his claims with his most recent events.

         II. Plaintiff's Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges, inter alia, that without plaintiff's knowledge or consent, defendants updated plaintiff's medical records to state he has seizures: (a) despite no current evidence that plaintiff suffers from a seizure disorder or has been prescribed medication for the same;[2](b) despite the fact that seizure precautions were removed from plaintiff's records on July 12, 2018; and (c) despite plaintiff refusing medical treatment by signing a refusal of treatment form. Defendants' actions resulted in plaintiff being returned prematurely from, and delayed in his transfer to, a fire camp where he can earn more time credits and make a higher salary, and ultimately resulting in his prison release date being extended beyond January 12, 2020. (ECF No. 1 at 10, 17, 21.) In addition, medical records demonstrate plaintiff has been free from pharmacological intervention for 18 months, also making him eligible for fire camp. Thus, defendants are employing “underground regulations” in violation of prison regulations, because the “CCC Clinical Camp Guidelines” are merely a Microsoft word document devoid of any legal citation or signature, not adopted by the California Office of Administrative Law, and therefore unenforceable. (ECF No. 1 at 12.) If the court does not issue a temporary restraining order requiring defendants to remove the medical hold, immediately release plaintiff to fire camp, and correct his prison release date to January 12, 2020, his prison release date may be threatened.

         In his first cause of action, plaintiff claims his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights have been violated by defendants imposing unwanted medical treatment on him without his consent, and depriving him of his right to refuse medical treatment, and violating his right to privacy in his medical records. In his second cause of action, plaintiff appears to allege that defendants retaliated against plaintiff in violation of the First Amendment by providing inaccurate responses to, and falsely denying, plaintiff's administrative appeals, imposing invalid guidelines, and making retaliatory threats against plaintiff. In addition to declaratory relief and monetary damages, plaintiff seeks injunctive relief requiring defendants Ali and Villa to stop imposing an underground regulation, the “CCC Clinical Camp Guidelines, ” remove the medical hold and clear plaintiff for “full duty special skills nunc pro tunc from . . . August 13, 2018, to only follow valid CCHCS/CDCR policies and procedures, honor plaintiff's right to refuse treatment, right to informed consent, privacy rights, and to not retaliate against plaintiff for filing this complaint, and send [plaintiff] back to Trinity River Conservation Camp #3.” (ECF No. 1 at 28.)

         III. Standards

         A voluntary dismissal is a judgment, order, or proceeding from which Rule 60(b) relief can be granted. In re Hunter, 66 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 1995). Under Rule 60(b) a court may relieve a party from a final judgment or order if the moving party can show: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) (hereafter “Rule 60(b)).

         IV. Discussion

         Plaintiff fails to address the element of Rule 60(b) that he believes demonstrates that this action should be reopened. Rather, most of his motion is devoted to reiterating allegations from 2018 which were included in his original complaint. Because those facts were known to plaintiff at the time he dismissed this action, such facts offer no support for reopening this case. The undersigned finds that plaintiff has failed to procedurally comply with Rule 60(b). Therefore, plaintiff's motion to reinstate this action is denied without prejudice to plaintiff renewing his motion under Rule 60(b).

         Further, plaintiff now claims his circumstances have changed, including his transfer back to the fire camp, which was part of the relief he sought. Plaintiff also seeks to substitute for Doe defendants the individuals Suzanne Peery, J. Randall, and R. Martinez, who were not named in his complaint. However, in his complaint, plaintiff did not identify each Doe defendant by his or her alleged act or omission which plaintiff contends violated his constitutional rights. Absent such factual allegations, plaintiff may not simply substitute the name of an individual because it is insufficient to put each putative defendant on notice of the alleged actions or omissions that plaintiff claims violated his federal rights.[3] Rather, plaintiff must seek leave to amend his complaint to name such individuals as defendants, and append a proposed amended complaint that includes the requisite factual allegations, for the court's screening.[4]

         Finally, although plaintiff offers to amend his complaint, in light of plaintiff's allegations, it is unclear he can state a cognizable civil rights claim or raise a claim that is not barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 482, 486-87 (1994). Often referred to as the favorable termination rule or the Heck bar, this exception to Section 1983's otherwise broad scope applies whenever state prisoners “seek to invalidate the duration of their confinement -- either directly through an injunction compelling speedier release or indirectly through a judicial determination that necessarily implies the unlawfulness of the State's custody.” Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81 (2005); Heck, 512 U.S. at 482, 486-87; Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 644 (1997). Thus, “a state prisoner's [section] 1983 action is barred (absent prior invalidation) -- no matter the relief sought (damages or equitable relief), no matter the target of the prisoner's suit (state conduct leading to conviction or internal prison proceedings) -- if success in that action would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its duration.” Id. at 81-82.

         Because plaintiff seeks a court order advancing the date he is released from prison, a claim which necessarily implicates the duration of his confinement, plaintiff must seek relief through a petition for writ of habeas corpus, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         However, plaintiff may be able to state claims that do not implicate his release date; thus, plaintiff is granted leave to submit a proposed amended complaint. Plaintiff should review the following information to determine whether he can state ...

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