United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
TIGAR United States District Judge
an inmate at Correctional Training Facility, has filed this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis in a separate order. His complaint
(ECF No. 1) is now before the Court for review under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the
complaint will be DISMISSED with prejudice.
Standard of Review
federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity, or from an officer or an employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court
must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims
which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1), (2). Pro se pleadings
must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
“Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need
only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . .
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)
(citations omitted). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to
provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment]
to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated; and
(2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under
the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
complaint names as defendants CTF Lt. Banales and CTF Sgt.
Jones. ECF No. 1 at 2. Plaintiff was issued a rules violation
report (“RVR”) for use of a controlled substance
based solely on a positive urinalysis taken on June 6, 2016.
Plaintiff was found guilty of this RVR, but the RVR was
reversed and reissued multiple times due to due process
violations. ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Plaintiff's claims arise
out of the January 31, 2017 hearing related to these RVRs.
first claim, plaintiff alleges that Defendant Banales failed
to provide him with copies of the two lab tests performed on
the urinalysis sample and with copies of Officer Gamboa's
on the job training documents (CDCR Form 844) related to
urinalysis collection prior to the January 31, 2017 RVR
hearing. Plaintiff argues that this failure violated
administrative regulations, specifically 15 Cal. Code Regs.
§ 3320(c) and Section 54100.20.3 of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations
(“CDCR”) Department Operations Manual
(“DOM”); and that because administrative
regulations have the force of law and are binding on the
issuing agency, this failure violated plaintiff's rights
under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ECF
No. 1 at 3-8.
has failed to state a cognizable due process claim against
Defendant Banales. Not every violation of a state prison
regulation rises to the level of a constitutional violation.
Ove v. Gwinn, 264 F.3d 817, 824 (9th Cir. 2001)
(“To the extent that the violation of a state law
amounts to the deprivation of a state-created interest that
reaches beyond that guaranteed by the federal Constitution,
Section 1983 offers no redress.”) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted); Sandin v. Conner, 515
U.S. 472, 482 (1995) (finding no constitutionally protected
liberty interest in prison regulations phrased in mandatory
terms; rejecting notion that violation of state prison
regulations provides basis for procedural due process claim
because it “creates disincentives for States to codify
prison management procedures”); Olim v.
Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 250-51 (1983) (explaining that
“[p]rocess is not an end in itself” and holding
that a State's creation of administrative procedures
“does not create an independent substantive
right” under the Due Process Clause); Bostic v.
Carlson, 884 F.2d 1267, 1270 (9th Cir. 1989),
overruled on other grounds by Nettles v. Grounds,
830 F.3d 922, 927-31 (9th Cir. 2016) (prison's failure to
follow its own guidelines regarding hearings does not alone
constitute denial of due process); see also Langford v.
Day, 110 F.3d 1380, 1389 (9th Cir. 1996) (litigant
cannot “transform a state-law issue into a federal one
merely by asserting a violation of due process”). Only
if the events complained of rise to the level of a federal
statutory or constitutional violation do they give rise to a
claim under section 1983. Jones v. Williams, 297
F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). The Court is not aware of any
authority supporting the existence of a constitutional right
under the Due Process Clause to the copies of documents
relevant to an RVR or to a rehearing of the charges if an
inmate is not provided with those copies. This claim is
therefore dismissed with prejudice because amendment would be
futile. Plumeau v. Sch. Dist. # 40 Cnty. of Yamhill,
130 F.3d 432, 439 (9th Cir. 1997) (denial of leave to amend
appropriate where further amendment would be futile).
second claim, plaintiff alleges that Defendant Banales
knowingly solicited false information from Defendant Jones
regarding Officer Gamboa's certification for urinalysis;
that this information was the basis for the RVR guilty
finding; and that defendants' actions violated 15 Cal.
Code Regs. §§ 3084(g),  3391(a). As discussed
above, violations of state regulations do not rise to the
level of a ...