United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN PART
Michael Seabright United States District Judge
Plaintiff Quintin-John D'Agirbaud, III, is incarcerated
at the Saguaro Correctional Center (“SCC”), in
Eloy, Arizona. He complains of incidents that allegedly
occurred while he was housed at the Halawa and Waiawa
Correctional Facilities (respectively, “HCF” and
“WCF”), before his transfer to Arizona. Plaintiff
claims that Defendants violated his constitutional rights when
they allegedly failed to protect him from assault by other
inmates, retaliated against him for filing grievances,
illegally searched his locker, and denied him due process.
states colorable claims against Defendants Sarah Alanzo and
Dovie Borges in Counts I and II, and a colorable First
Amendment retaliation claim against Alanzo. These claims may
be served and will require a response after service is
alleged under the Fourth Amendment (Count IV), and claims
alleged against all Defendants in their official capacities
are DISMISSED with prejudice.
other claims as alleged against all Defendants fail to state
a claim, and these claims are DISMISSED without prejudice
with leave granted to amend.
courts must conduct a pre-answer screening in all cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity,
officer, or employee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court 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. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). “The purpose of
[screening] is ‘to ensure that the targets of frivolous
or malicious suits need not bear the expense of
responding.'” Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d
903, 920 n.1 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Wheeler v. Wexford
Health Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d 680, 681 (7th Cir.
under §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(a) involves the
same standard of review as that used under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Watison v. Carter, 668
F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a
complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted);
Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2012). “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 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). 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). The “mere possibility of misconduct” or
an “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation” falls short of meeting this plausibility
standard. Id. at 678-79; see also Moss v. U.S.
Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).
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). Leave to
amend should be granted if it is possible that the
complaint's defects can be corrected. Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).
27, 2016, while incarcerated at HCF, Plaintiff wrote
Defendant DPS Director Espinda to complain that violent,
“closed [(sic)]custody” gang members are housed
with non-violent, non-gang, medium and minimum custody
inmates. Espinda did not respond. Compl., ECF No.
1, PageID #7 (Count I).
February 20, 2017, Plaintiff signed a “separtee”
memorandum against alleged USO gang member Brian Aquino, whom
Plaintiff accused of threatening him. Id. Defendant
Alanzo allegedly informed USO gang leader “Levu”
that Plaintiff had requested separation memoranda against
Aquino and several other USO gang members. Id.
March 17, 2017, Alanzo allegedly yelled loudly in front of
other inmates that Plaintiff “better stop ratting on
inmates in here. I'm the one doing your transfer packet,
do you want it to take longer?” Id. Plaintiff
immediately reported Alanzo's comments to Unit Team
Manager Morreira and Defendant Borges.
March 18, 2017, close custody USO gang member Joel Pitts
allegedly assaulted Plaintiff. Plaintiff says a guard
witnessed this assault.
April 4, 2017, Plaintiff wrote Morreira that Alanzo had a
“personal vendetta towards [him].” Id.,
PageID #8 (Count II). Plaintiff says Alanzo refused to
initiate his reclassification and transfer packet because he
had complained about her to her superiors on several
April 5, 2017, Alanzo allegedly authorized close custody USO
gang member Gaius Awong's transfer into Plaintiff's
housing unit. Plaintiff says that Awong had “just
[been] released from segregation for assaulting an inmate in
another module.” Id.
April 8, 2017, Awong assaulted Plaintiff, allegedly on
instructions from USO gang leader Levu. Plaintiff was
hospitalized for a fractured index finger, nose, right
orbital bones, and damaged upper vertebrae. Plaintiff
thereafter grieved DPS's policy of holding close custody
gang members with general population inmates. Defendants
Borges, HCF Warden Harrington, and DPS Administrator Kimoto
denied these grievances.
19, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred to WCF. On May 22, 2017,
Plaintiff wrote WCF Administrator Miike to report his recent
assault at HCF and seek assurances that he would not be
assaulted or set up by other inmates at WCF for pressing
charges against Awong. Miike did not respond. Although
Plaintiff says he feared harm from Awong, Aquino, and Pitts,
he does not allege that these inmates were incarcerated at
WCF. On May 26, 2017, Plaintiff told Case Manager
Christy that inmate Dean Kokobun told others that
Plaintiff was a “rat” and said that “he is
going to get it.” Id., PageID #9 (Count III).
17, 2017, Plaintiff wrote Defendant WCF COS Evans to express
his concerns that he might be set up at WCF and requested to
be moved to a different housing unit. He received no
26, 2017, Plaintiff ordered store items totaling $130.00.
Also on this date, guards searched Plaintiff's locker
while he was attending a program. On July 27, 2017, after
allegedly receiving an anonymous tip (“kite”),
guards searched Plaintiff's locker again while he was at
work and found a “brown leafy substance.”
Id., PageID #11 (Count IV). Plaintiff was removed
from his work station and put in WCF's segregation unit
for an investigation. Plaintiff completed a property receipt
on which he listed the store items that he had ordered the
day before. The guards told Plaintiff that they knew he had
been set up by other inmates and that he should provide
information regarding which inmates at WCF were involved with
drugs. Plaintiff complied and was given a urinalysis, which
tested negative for drugs, but he was later found guilty of a
drug misconduct violation.
28, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred back to HCF and housed in
the segregation unit. He asked to have his store items
transferred to HCF, or in the alternative, to cancel the
order and have his account credited with a refund.
August 1, 2017, Borges told him to “submit an
inter-unit request via your case manager & unit
manager” regarding his store items. Id.,
PageID #14 (Count VI).
August 23, 2017, Miike recalculated Plaintiff's
classification points based on his drug misconduct and
resultant termination from his WCF work assignment and
transfer back to HCF. Plaintiff grieved Miike's
calculation of his classification points, but Kimoto denied
commenced this action on January 12, 2018, after he had been
transferred to SCC. See Compl., ECF No. 1. He
alleges five causes of action: Counts I and II, alleging the
failure to protect him from assault under the Eighth
Amendment; Counts III, V, and VI, alleging the denial of due
process under the Fourteenth Amendment; and Count IV,
alleging an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth
Amendment. See id., PageID #7-15. He seeks damages,
a transfer to the Laumaka Work Furlough Program, and