United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Morris, United States District Court Judge
James Canda, a prisoner at Montana State Prison, filed a
Complaint pro se alleging violations of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 on May 12, 2016. (Doc. 2.) Canda alleges that
Defendants deprived him of due process when his federal
income tax refund check was withheld without notice. (Doc. 2
at 7.) United States Magistrate Judge John Johnston entered
Findings and Recommendations in this matter on December 16,
2016. (Doc. 9.) Neither party filed objections.
party makes no objections, the Court need not review de
novo the proposed Findings and Recommendations.
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149-52 (1986). This
Court will review Judge Johnston's Findings and
Recommendations, however, for clear error. McDonnell
Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d
1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981).
Johnston acknowledged that the Court must screen Canda's
complaint and dismiss it or portions thereof if the complaint
is “frivolous, ” “fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, ” or “seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune.” (Doc.
9 at 3.) Judge Johnston determined that Canda's
allegations against Ms. Tillman, the mailroom clerk at
Crossroads Correctional Center, are sufficient to state a
claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 4.
Canda alleges an authorized, intentional deprivation of
property, which is actionable under the Due Process Clause.
Johnston determined that Mr. Canda's allegations against
supervisory officials-Defendants Berkebile, Fender, Stewart,
or Batista-are insufficient to state a claim. (Doc. 9 at 6.)
Judge Johnston cited to multiple cases for the proposition
that a plaintiff must demonstrate a supervisor's prior
knowledge of unconstitutional conditions or conduct committed
by subordinates in order to sufficiently state a due process
claim. Id. at 5. Canda has not alleged that
supervisory defendants had prior knowledge that he would be
denied notice of the withholding of his tax refund check.
Judge Johnston accordingly concluded that Canda's
allegations were insufficient.
Johnston also determined that Canda's allegations against
Corrections Corporation of America are insufficient to state
a claim. (Doc. 9 at 7.) Judge Johnston so determined because
Canda has not alleged any wrongful policies or customs on the
part of Corrections Corporation of America. Id.
Judge Johnston also concluded that Canda's claims against
the Montana Department of Corrections should be dismissed due
to the State of Montana's well-established sovereign
immunity. (Doc. 9 at 8.)
Court has reviewed Judge Johnston's Findings and
Recommendations for clear error. The Court finds no error in
Judge Johnston's Findings and Recommendations, and adopts
them in full.
ORDERED that Judge Johnston's Findings and
Recommendations (Doc. 9) is ADOPTED IN FULL.
FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Berkebile, Fender, Stewart,
Batista, Corrections Corporation of America, and the Montana