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Gulston K. Kilaulani v. Francis X. Sequeira

August 13, 2012

GULSTON K. KILAULANI,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
FRANCIS X. SEQUEIRA, ROCHELLE NIETO, RENEE ASHBY, SANFORD ITO, JOHN AND JANE DOES 1-5 , DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leslie E. Kobayashi United States District Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE GRANTED TO AMEND

Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Gulston K. Kilaulani's prisoner civil rights complaint.*fn1 Although Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility ("HCF"), he complains of events that occurred while he was housed at the Oahu Community Correctional Center ("OCCC"). Plaintiff names OCCC Warden Francis Sequeira, OCCC disciplinary committee members Rochelle Nieto, Renee Ashby, Sanford Ito, and John and Jane Does 1-5 (collectively, "Defendants"), in their individual and official capacities. Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated his constitutional rights to due process during disciplinary proceedings at OCCC and his subsequent transfer to HCF.

The Complaint is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1), for failure to state a claim.

Plaintiff is granted leave to amend, as discussed and limited below.

I. STATUTORY SCREENING

The court must screen all civil actions brought by prisoners that relate to prison conditions and/or seek redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint in full or in part if its claims are legally frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (c)(1).

A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim for (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim, a pleading 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). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 1951.

The court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, accept all allegations of material fact as true, and construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears at all possible that the plaintiff can correct the defects of his or her complaint. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).

II. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

Plaintiff says that on or about March 24, 2012, he was transferred from community custody status at OCCC to the special holding administrative segregation unit at HCF. On or about April 11, 2012, Plaintiff was notified and charged with violations of Department of Public Safety ("DPS") Policies and Procedures ("P&P"): Cor. 13.03 3a.7(9), 3a7(15), 4a.8(10), and 4a.8(25).*fn2 The notice stated that a hearing would be held the next day, April 12, 2012. Plaintiff says that Defendants Nieto, Ito, and Ashby found him not guilty of the listed charges, but found him guilty of Cor. 13.03 3a.7(17), a lesser-included offense of the listed charges.*fn3

Plaintiff filed a grievance on or about May 3, 2012. Defendant Sequeira upheld the committee's finding and denied Plaintiff's the grievance. Plaintiff says he filed another appeal, presumably taking the grievance to the next step, but has received no response.

Plaintiff complains that Defendants denied him due process when they (1) failed to give him notice before his transfer to HCF; (2) failed to give him "proper" notice of the disciplinary hearing; and (3) found him guilty of a charge ...


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