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Milliken v. Maylin

United States District Court, N.D. California

December 27, 2019

JAMES M. MILLIKEN, Plaintiff,
v.
A. MAYLIN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; DENYING MOTION TO STAY RE: DKT. NOS. 26, 28

          JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against two officials at Pelican Bay State Prison (“PBSP”), where Plaintiff was formerly housed. He claims that they violated his constitutional rights when they placed him on contraband surveillance watch. The Court reviewed the complaint and found that, when liberally construed, it stated a cognizable claim for the violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment.[1]Plaintiff filed an opposition, and Defendants filed a reply brief. Plaintiff also filed a motion to stay the motion for summary judgment to allow him to conduct further discovery. For the reasons discussed below, the motion for summary judgment is GRANTED, and the motion to stay is DENIED.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff received an in-person (“contact”) visit with his wife at PBSP on March 4, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. At approximately 2:00 p.m., correctional officers searched his cell for contraband, but they did not find any. After the visit ended, Plaintiff was escorted to the PBSP hobby room, where Defendant Maylin scanned him with a “Low Dose Body Scanner.” (Maylin Decl. ¶ 3.) Inmates are scanned following activities in which contraband smuggling is likely, such as in-person visits, to detect whether inmates have ingested contraband or hidden it in a body cavity. (Id; Deters Decl. ¶ 2.)

         The scanner is about the size of an airplane scanner, and the inmate stands on a platform inside while the scanner quickly rotates around the inmate. (Maylin Decl. at ¶ 2.) The scanner administers a low dose of radiation and within seconds captures a high-definition image of the torso. (Id.) Software in the scanner automatically calculates the cumulative amount of radiation given to each individual annually based upon their name and prisoner, issues a warning if the inmate approaches their annual limit, and will not scan once the limit is reached. (Id.¶ 4, Ex. B.) Plaintiff estimates that between January 1, 2017, and March 6, 2017, he was scanned more than ten times following visits. (Pl. Decl. ¶ 11.)

         Prison policy provides that an inmate may be placed on CSW when a supervisor official has determined that there is reasonable suspicion that he has ingested or secreted contraband. (Deters Decl. ¶ 2.) Inmates on CSW are placed in an isolated cell, which is first thoroughly searched and cleaned and emptied of all moveable objects except for a mattress and blanket at nighttime. (Id. at ¶ 3.) The inmate's clothing is taped at the hem and the shirt cuff to prevent access to body cavities. (Id.) The inmate is placed in handcuffs attached to waist chains and given “hand isolation devices” made of hard plastic tubing to cover the hands. (Id. at ¶¶ 3-4.) The inmate remains under constant supervision with the lights kept on for a period of 72 hours or until three bowel movements are completed. (Id. at ¶ 2.)

         According to Maylin, the scan of Plaintiff on March 4, 2017, showed a black circular item with between Plaintiffs pelvic bones and above his scrotum with a hard outline, which is consistent with a foreign object rather than food. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Maylin's supervisor, Defendant Deters, reviewed the image and found that it was sufficiently suggestive of contraband to warrant placing plaintiff on contraband surveillance watch (“CSW”). (Deters Decl. ¶ 5.) Plaintiffs placement on CSW was then approved by the “administrative officer on duty” at approximately 3:35 p.m. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Plaintiff asserts that Maylin and Deters lied about what they saw on the scanned image and that it showed no suggestion of contraband. (ECF No. 1 at 5;[2] No. 30 at 12.)

         Following plaintiff's scan, at approximately 3:35 p.m., he was placed on CSW for the next 44 hours, where he remained under constant observation. (Deters Decl. at ¶ 8, Ex. D; ECF No. 1 at 5-6.) He was placed in a holding cell, strip-searched, and given two pairs of boxer shorts (one to wear normally and one to wear backwards) and a shirt that were taped at the cuffs, waist and sleeves. (Id.) He was handcuffed to waist restraints and “hand isolation devices, ” which are a type of restraint made from hard plastic tubing placed over the hands. (Id.) The hand restraints were removed at 7:20 p.m. to allow him to eat a hot dinner, and then he was escorted to a cell in the Secured Housing Unit where he remained for the duration of CSW. (Deters Decl. Ex. D.) The cell was approximately 5 x 6 feet and was empty except for a chair. (ECF No. 1 at 5.)

         Upon his arrival in the new cell, Plaintiff was strip-searched, and he received new pants, a shirt, and socks, which were taped; the waist restraints, handcuffs, and hand restraints were also reapplied. (Deters Decl. Ex. D.) That evening, a registered nurse checked his medical condition, and he received a mattress and a clean blanket. (Id.) The temperature in the cell was 72 degrees. (Id.) At 4:45 a.m., the hand restraints were removed and cleaned, Plaintiff urinated and washed his hands with soap and water, a band-aid was applied to a small cut on his finger, and then the restraints and tape were re-applied. (Id.) At 6:45 a.m., the hand restraints were removed again, and Plaintiff washed his hands and face with soap and water, ate breakfast and drank coffee. (Id.) The hand restraints were cleaned, band-aids were applied to small cuts on his hands and wrists, and he brushed his teeth and washed his hands and face again. (Id.) At 8:45 a.m., Plaintiff defecated in a bucket with a bag liner, but no contraband was found; Plaintiff then washed his hands with soap and water before his clothing was re-taped and the hand restraints reapplied. (Id.) At 11:00 a.m., Plaintiff ate lunch and drank coffee, at 11:35 a.m., a nurse removed and reapplied his band-aid, at 2:00 p.m., he was medically checked, at 3:55 p.m., he was given medication for a headache, and at 4:32 p.m. he ate dinner and drank water. (Id.) At 6:15 p.m., he defecated, and no contraband was discovered. (Id.) At approximately 9:00 p.m., he was given a mattress, and at 10:50 p.m., both Plaintiff and the cell were searched. (Id.) Plaintiff and the cell were searched again at 5:05 a.m. the next day, and at 7:00 a.m., he ate breakfast. (Id.) He defecated again, and at 11:00 a.m., he was scanned; no contraband was discovered. (Id.) At 12:00 p.m., he ate lunch, at 12:50 p.m., he defecated again, no contraband was found, and at 1:05 p.m., he was released from CSW. (Id.)

         Throughout his time on CSW, the cell was illuminated, and temperature was recorded at 72 and 73 degrees. (Id.) When Plaintiff ate a meal, urinated, or had a bowel movement, the tape was removed from his clothing, his hand restraints were removed and cleaned, and he was allowed to wash his hands with soap and water before and after. (Id.) The prison records indicate that Plaintiff was scanned twice while on CSW, while Plaintiff states that it occurred four times. (Id.; ECF No. 1 at 7.) Plaintiff states that he suffered headaches and sleep loss from the constant illumination, that the restraints caused pain in his back, that he lost property during the search of his cell, that he missed a contact visit, and that he suffered emotionally from having to defecate and urinate into a lined bucket under observation. (ECF No. 1 at 8.)

         DISCUSSION

         I. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings, discovery and affidavits show that there is "no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Material facts are those which may affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if ...


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