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Bailey v. Batista

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

July 27, 2017

D'WAYNE BAILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
DOC DIRECTOR MIKE BATISTA, ET. AL., Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          BRIAN MORRIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff D'Wayne Bailey has filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 9), Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 13), Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 16), Fourth Amended Complaint (Doc. 20), and corresponding supplements to these complaints (Docs. 17, 19, and 21). Bailey alleges violations of the First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. United States Magistrate Judge John Johnston issued Findings and Recommendations in this matter. (Doc. 24.) Judge Johnston recommended that the Court dismiss all of Bailey's claims for failure to state a claim, with the exception of one claim alleging an equal protection violation. Id. at 1.

         Bailey filed objections. (Doc. 26.) The Court reviews de novo findings and recommendations to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The Court has reviewed the Findings and Recommendations de novo and concurs with Judge Johnston.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A Montana state court sentenced to Bailey to 45 years in custody in June 2005. Bailey spent some of his term within the Montana Department of Corrections, was transferred via an interstate compact agreement to California, and then returned to Montana's custody. (Doc. 2-1 at 4.) The Court construed Bailey's first filing in this case as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint. His filing included three separate habeas petitions. The Court informed Bailey it would not consider petitions and documents filed in other courts.

         Judge Johnston has organized Bailey's claims into six claim headings across the four amended complaints. For his first claim, Bailey alleged that Montana State Prison (MSP) has denied him adequate toiletries and legal materials, and access to the courts, in violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Second, Bailey alleged that MSP and Crossroad Correctional Associates (CCA) officials have demonstrated deliberate indifference to his medical issues, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Third, Bailey asserted that MSP has violated his right to due process through racially motivated housing placement. Fourth he claimed that Interstate Compact Coordinator, Linda Moodry, violated his rights when she destroyed and/or failed to have his property shipped back to Montana from California. Bailey's fifth claim alleged that MSP has denied him a special vegetarian diet in violation of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). His sixth claim asserted that MSP medical personnel are denying him care in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.

         II. DISCUSSION

         The Court must review Bailey's claims and dismiss any claim that is “frivolous, ” “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A). To state a claim under §1983, a plaintiff must allege (1) the violation of a federal constitutional or statutory right; and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). A plaintiff is additionally required to allege a specific injury suffered and show a causal relationship between the defendant's conduct and the injury suffered. Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976); Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978).

         Liability does not attach to an individual defendant on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish the defendant's personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation or a causal connection between the defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged constitutional deprivation. Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989). A plaintiff may not sue any official on the theory that the official is liable for the unconstitutional conduct of his or her subordinates. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). Bailey must identify the particular person or persons who violated his rights. He must also plead facts showing how that particular person was involved in the alleged violation.

         Before dismissing claims in a pro se complaint, the litigant must be provided with notice of the deficiencies in his complaint in order to ensure that the litigant uses the opportunity to amend. Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1261 (9th Cir. 1992). Bailey was provided with such notice of the deficiencies and filed several amendments to his original complaint. Judge Johnston recommends the Court dismiss Bailey's first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth claims. He further recommends that the Court dismiss part of Bailey's third claim.

         A. Claim One: Denial of Toiletries and Legal Materials, and Discrimination in Employment

         Bailey's first claim includes allegations of denial of sufficient toiletries and legal materials, as well as racial discrimination in prison employment that prevents him from obtaining extra toiletries and legal materials. Bailey alleges his Eighth Amendment right to humane conditions of confinement has been violated because he does not receive enough razors, soap, toothpaste, or shaving supplies.

         The Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from inhumane methods of punishment and from inhumane conditions of confinement. Morgan v. Morgensen, 465 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2006). To show a violation of the Eighth Amendment, plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to support a claim that a prison official knew of and disregarded a substantial risk of serious harm to the plaintiff. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 847 (1994); Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 1128 (9th Cir. 1998). Bailey admits that he is provided toiletries, even if he disputes that the quantity meets his needs. This claim fails.

         Bailey also seems to allege that MSP and CCA have violated his right to access courts under the Fourteenth Amendment. He specifically takes issue with the amount of legal supplies provided. Prisoners have a constitutional right of access to the courts. Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 828 (1977). Prisoners also have a right “to litigate claims challenging their sentences or the conditions of their confinement to conclusion without active interference by prison officials.” Silva v. DiVittorio, 658 F.3d 1090, 1103 (9th Cir. 2011), overruled on other grounds by Richey v. Dahne, 807 F.3d 1202, 1209 n.6 (9th Cir. 2015). The plaintiff must allege that the deprivation actually injured his litigation efforts, ...


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