United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL
OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM AND,
ALTERNATIVELY, FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST ORDER DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SUPPLEMENT THE COMPLAINT (ECF Nos.
1, 8) OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS
Paul Nivard Beaton, is a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the
Court for screening is Plaintiff's Complaint, filed on
July 12, 2019. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
have placed false and inaccurate information in his prison
medical records. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's
motion on emergency grounds, filed on July 26, 2019 (ECF No.
8), which the Court construes as a motion to supplement the
complaint. The Court recommends that the Complaint (ECF No.
1) and this action be dismissed for failure to exhaust and
failure to state a cognizable claim. The Court denies the
motion to supplement the Complaint (ECF No. 8).
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 upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b)(1), (2). As Plaintiff is proceeding in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 6), the Court may also screen the
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. “Notwithstanding
any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been
paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the
court determines that the action or appeal fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C.
of pro se plaintiffs “must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010) (holding that pro se complaints
should continue to be liberally construed after
Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
42 U.S.C. § 1983.
1983 ‘is not itself a source of substantive
rights,' but merely provides ‘a method for
vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.'”
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989)
(quoting Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that
(1) the defendant acted under color of state law, and (2) the
defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution
or federal law. Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442
F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); see also Marsh v. Cnty.
of San Diego, 680 F.3d 1148, 1158 (9th Cir. 2012)
(discussing “under color of state law”). A person
deprives another of a constitutional right, “within the
meaning of § 1983, ‘if he does an affirmative act,
participates in another's affirmative act, or omits to
perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes
the deprivation of which complaint is made.'”
Preschooler II v. Clark Cnty. Sch. Bd. of Trs., 479
F.3d 1175, 1183 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)).
Summary of the Complaint
Complaint names as defendants the State of California,
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”), and Valley State Prison
(“VSP”). (ECF No. 1) Plaintiff alleges that his
medical records state, under “criminal history, ”
the following: “murder, ” “brain trauma,
” and “4th grade education level.”
(Id. at 4.) Plaintiff alleges that this information
is false, defamatory, slanderous, and libelous.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that these “false
slanders subject me to a differential” medical
treatment in prison and that because of this allegedly false
information in his medical records, once he is released from
prison and seeks medical treatment, the “outside”
doctors “will treat me wrong.” (Id. at
5, 6.) For relief, Plaintiff seeks a court order requiring
CDCR to “stop it, erase it, because it's wrong,
” and that all references to “murder, brain
trauma, 4th grade, ” “must be erased from all
CDCR medical records.” (Id. at 7.)
The Complaint Fails to State a Cognizable § 1983
general, prison inmates do not have a protected liberty
interest in freedom from alleged classification errors where
such errors do not cause the inmates to be subjected to
“atypical and significant hardship . . . in relation to
the ordinary incidents of prison life.” Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995). The same principle
applies to claimed due process violations arising from
allegedly false information in prison documents, such as
medical records. See Hines v. Gomez, 108 F.3d 265,
268-69 (9th Cir. 1997); Freeman v. Rideout, 808 F.2d
949, 951 (2d Cir. 1986) (Prisoners have “no
constitutionally guaranteed immunity from being falsely or
wrongly accused of conduct which may result in the
deprivation of a protected liberty interest, ” so long
as they are “not . . . deprived of a protected liberty
interest without due process of law.”).
Plaintiff is alleging that his medical records contain false
information regarding his criminal history and mental health
status. The mere presence of this allegedly false information
in Plaintiff's medical records does not, without more,
violate Plaintiff's constitutional rights. See
ibid. Thus, the Complaint fails to state a cognizable
claim under § 1983. The Complaint is therefore subject
to dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be ...