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Thompson v. Uehara

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

August 2, 2017

THAD THOMPSON, #A5013250, Plaintiff,
v.
NOLAN UEHARA, Defendant.

          ORDER DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AND ACTION; DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

          Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Thad Thompson's Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), and Motion for Preliminary Injunction. ECF Nos. 12, 13. Thompson is incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility ("HCF") and is proceeding in forma pauperis. He names HCF Discipline Committee Chair Nolan Uehara in his individual and official capacities as the only Defendant and seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages. Thompson alleges Uehara violated his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment during a disciplinary proceeding held at HCF on or about May 2, 2017.

         For the following reasons, Thompson's SAC is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A(a). Because it is clear that Thompson cannot amend his pleadings to state a claim, despite being given an opportunity to do so, this dismissal is with prejudice. Thompson's Motion for Preliminary Injunction is DENIED.

         I. SCREENING

         Federal courts must screen all cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, or seek to proceed without prepayment of the civil filing fees. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Courts must identify cognizable claims and dismiss those claims that are frivolous, 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. Id. at §§ 1915(e)(2) and 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, a plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Pro se prisoners' pleadings must be liberally construed and given the benefit of any doubt. Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th Cir. 2013); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, "the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiffs factual allegations." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)). A plaintiff must identify specific facts supporting the existence of substantively plausible claims for relief. Johnson v. City of Shelby, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014) (per curiam) (citation omitted). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears possible that the plaintiff can correct the complaint's defects. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).

         II. DISCUSSION

         "To sustain an action under section 1983, a plaintiff must show '(1) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; and (2) that the conduct deprived the plaintiff of a federal constitutional or statutory right.'" Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 987 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 556 U.S. 1256 (2009); see also West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Additionally, a plaintiff must allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of a particular defendant's conduct and an affirmative link between the injury and the violation of his rights. See Monell v. Dep 't of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976). "A person 'subjects' another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of § 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made." Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978).

         A. Thompson's Claims[1]

         On March 27 and 29, 2017, Thompson was charged with fighting with two other inmates. On April 19, 2017, HCF employee Monica Chun gave Thompson two Notices of Report of Misconduct and Hearing, informing of the hearing to be held twenty-four hours later regarding both charges. Thompson asked Chun to postpone the hearings so that he could find witnesses, and Chun did so.

         On May 2, 2017, Uehara chaired the hearing on Thompson's charges. Thompson questioned why Chun was not participating in the hearings and whether Uehara would call Thompson's witnesses. Uehara told Thompson he would not call Thompson's witnesses, and he questioned whether Thompson intended to participate in the hearing at that time. Words were exchanged, and ultimately, Uehara determined that Thompson was refusing to participate. See ECF No. 7-1, PagelD #32, 34 ("Findings and Disposition of Corrective Action"). Uehara found Thompson guilty of both charges and sanctioned him to thirty days segregation for each charge, to run consecutively. Id.

         B. Fourteenth ...


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