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Bealer v. Kern Valley State Prison Classification Committee

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 24, 2019

ANTWOINE BEALER, Plaintiff,
v.
KERN VALLEY STATE PRISON CLASSIFICATION COMMITTEE, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF (ECF NO. 29) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE

         Plaintiff Antwoine Bealer is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         On May 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed his original complaint. (ECF No. 1.) On February 28, 2019, the Court screened Plaintiff's complaint and found that Plaintiff had failed to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 20.) Plaintiff was provided with the legal standards that applied to his claims and granted leave to amend. (Id.)

         On April 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint. (ECF No. 23.) On August 14, 2019, the Court screened Plaintiff's first amended complaint and again found that Plaintiff had failed to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 24.) Plaintiff was again provided with the legal standards that applied to his claims and granted leave to amend. (Id.)

         Currently before the Court for screening is Plaintiff's second amended complaint, filed on September 30, 2019. (ECF No. 29.)

         I.

         SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that “fail[] to state a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek[] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         A 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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (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 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II.

         SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         The Court accepts Plaintiff's allegations in the second amended complaint as true only for the purpose of the sua sponte screening requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         Plaintiff names the Kern Valley State Prison Classification Committee, Kern Valley State Prison Warden John Doe, CCI D. Patterson, CDW M. Sexton, and CCII M. Oliveira as Defendants.

         Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Patterson, K. Welch, Sergeant T. Romo, Defendant Oliveira, and Defendant Sexton were part of the “Classification Committee that made the decision that deprived Plaintiff of his constitutional rights.” (ECF No. 29, at 10.) However, Plaintiff also states that he does not know each individuals' involvement in the constitutional violation, i.e., his retention in the SHU; he is only aware that the decision to retain him in the SHU was made by the Classification Committee in Corcoran State Prison on October 8, 2015.

         On March 24, 2015, Plaintiff was placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit (“ASU”) at Kern Valley State Prison to serve an aggravated term of nine months for threatening a peace officer. Plaintiff asserts that his placement in ASU violated his rights because he did not threaten a peace officer and he was not given a fair opportunity to defendant against the allegations.

         After he completed serving his 9-month term in ASU in October 2015, instead of being released back to general population, Plaintiff was transferred to the Security Housing Unit (“SHU”) at California State Prison, Corcoran. On October 8, 2015, the Classification Committee elected to retain Plaintiff in the SHU for administrative purposes and only stated vague reasons for the decision to retain Plaintiff. Plaintiff was not provided with a notice that he would be retained in SHU or a written statement of the evidence behind the decision. Plaintiff asserts that, in fact, there was no evidence to support the Classification Committee's decision to assess Plaintiff with an ...


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