United States District Court, E.D. California
M. COTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the Court
is Plaintiff's complaint (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges
Defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due
process in labeling him as a sex offender with a
“R” suffix without giving him notice or an
opportunity to challenge the designation. Plaintiff
additionally alleges this designation somehow violates his
rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act
SCREENING REQUIREMENT AND STANDARD
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require complaints contain a
“…short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief.” See
McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)). 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 (2009) (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (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).
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to
have their pleadings liberally construed and are afforded the
benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338,
342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). To 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
(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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572F.3d at 969.
has named two Defendants: (1) J. Abernathy and (2) J. Vila.
Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his due process rights
under the Fourteenth Amendment by unlawfully upholding
Plaintiff's alleged unlawful sex offender classification-
“R” suffix- without providing him due process.
Plaintiff alleges he was not provided notice or an
opportunity to be heard on the matter. Plaintiff additionally
alleges this classification has further led to a violation
his rights under the ADA. However, it is unclear exactly how
Plaintiff's rights under the ADA are implicated, or if
Plaintiff even qualifies for protection under the ADA.
Process Clause protects against the deprivation of liberty
without due process of law. Wilkinson v. Austin, 545
U.S. 209, 221 (2005). In order to invoke the protection of
the Due Process Clause, a plaintiff must first establish the
existence of a liberty interest for which the protection is
sought. Id. Liberty interests may arise from the Due
Process Clause itself, or from an expectation or interest
created by prison regulations. Id. The Due Process
Clause itself does not confer on inmates a liberty interest
in avoiding “more adverse conditions of
confinement.” Id. The existence of a liberty
interest created by prison regulations is determined by
focusing on the nature of the deprivation. Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 481-84 (1995). Such liberty
interests are “generally limited to freedom from
restraint which...imposes atypical and significant hardship
on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison
life.” Id. at 484; Myron v. Terhune,
476 F.3d 716, 718 (9th Cir. 2007).
certain circumstances, labeling a prisoner with a particular
classification may implicate a liberty interest subject to
the protections of due process. Neal v. Shimoda, 131
F.3d 818, 827 (9th Cir. 1997) (“[T]he stigmatizing
consequences of the attachment of the ‘sex
offender' label coupled with the subjection of the
targeted inmate to a mandatory treatment program whose
successful completion is a precondition for parole
eligibility create the kind of deprivations of liberty that
require procedural protections.”).
cannot claim any constitutional right to a particular prison
classification arising directly from the Fourteenth Amendment
as inmates have no liberty interest in custody classification
decisions. Hernandez v. Johnston, 833 F.2d 1316,
1318 (9th Cir. 1987); Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78,
88 n.9 (1976). The assignment of an “R” suffix
alone does not “impose[ ] atypical and significant
hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents
of prison life.” Sandin, 515 U.S. at 484;
Neal, 131 F.3d at 830; Cooper v. Garcia, 55
F.Supp.2d 1090, 1101 (S.D. Cal. 1999); Johnson v.
Gomez, 1996 WL 107275, at *2-5 (N.D. Cal. 1996);
Brooks v. McGrath, 1995 WL 733675, at *1-2 (N.D.
if Plaintiff can demonstrate the assignment of the
“R” suffix resulted in some kind of
discrimination under the ADA, Plaintiff may be able to
establish a deprivation of liberty that requires procedural
protections. In other words, if Plaintiff can establish that
the stigmatizing results of the “R” suffix
designation somehow lead to discrimination in violation of
the ADA, Plaintiff may be able to state a claim for relief.
For that reason, Plaintiff will be provided leave to amend.
Additionally, because of Plaintiff's pro se status, the
Court has provided a review of relevant ADA law below.
may bring claims under Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132.
Title II of the ADA “prohibit[s] discrimination on the
basis of disability.” Lovell v. Chandler, 303 F.3d
1039, 1052 (9th Cir. 2002). “To establish a violation
of Title II of the ADA, a plaintiff must show that (1) [he]
is a qualified individual with a disability; (2) [he] was
excluded from participation in or otherwise discriminated
against with regard to a public ...