United States District Court, D. Oregon
ORDER TO DISMISS
A. Hernandez United States District Judge.
an inmate at the Snake River Correctional Institution, brings
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
In a separate Order, the Court has granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. However, for the reasons
set forth below, Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e) (2) .
alleges that he was denied his constitutional right to due
process of law during three different disciplinary hearings
in 2016. He asserts that the hearings officers in those cases
relied solely on confidential informant statements that were
not accurate and denied him the opportunity to present his
own witnesses or exculpatory evidence. He also alleges that
the hearings officer at his final hearing on September 14,
2016 was not an impartial factfinder. He claims that as a
result of the unlawful hearings, Defendants sanctioned him
with the suspension of his visitation privileges for 365 days
as well as placement in the Disciplinary Segregation Unit for
an unidentified period. Plaintiff asks the Court to expunge
the unidentified disciplinary convictions from his record and
award him damages for the sanctions he suffered.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court is required to screen
prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental
entity, officer, or employee and must dismiss a complaint if
the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). In order to state a claim,
Plaintiff's Complaint must
ORDER TO DISMISS
sufficient factual matter which, when accepted as true, gives
rise to a plausible inference that defendants violated
plaintiff's constitutional rights. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009); Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 556-57 (2007).
"Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
for failure to state a claim is proper if it appears beyond
doubt that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claims that would entitle him to relief. Ortez v.
Washington County, 88 F.3d 804, 806 (9th Cir. 1996);
Cervantes v. City of San Diego, 5 F.3d 1273, 1274
(9th Cir. 1993). Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se, the Court construes his pleadings liberally and
affords him the benefit of any doubt. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Ortez, 88 F.3d at 806.
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995), state
law creates liberty interests for prisoners only when
physical restraints impose "atypical and significant
hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents
of prison life." In Sandin, an inmate was not
allowed to present witnesses at a disciplinary hearing and
was ultimately found guilty of the charged infractions. The
hearings officer sentenced the inmate to 30 days in
disciplinary segregation. The inmate brought suit claiming
that he had a protected liberty interest in calling witnesses
at his disciplinary hearing.
Supreme Court determined that the Due Process Clause only
protects a prisoner's liberty interest where he is
subject to a restraint which "imposes atypical and
significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the
ordinary incidents of prison life." Id. at 484.
"Discipline by prison officials in response to a wide
range of misconduct falls within the expected perimeters of
the sentence imposed by a court of law." Id. at
485. In so holding, the Court wished to avoid "the
involvement of federal courts in the day-to-day management of
prisons" which "often squander[s] judicial
resources with little offsetting benefit to anyone."
Id. at 4 82.
case, Plaintiff's placement in the Disciplinary
Segregation Unit for an unspecified period of time does not
give rise to a plausible inference that Defendants subjected
him to atypical or significant hardship in relation to the
ordinary incidents of prison life. With respect to
Plaintiff's implicit allegation that the denial of
visitation privileges for 365 days gives rise to a protected
liberty interest, restrictions on visitation privileges do
not amount to "a major disruption in [an inmate's]
environment" and, thus, ...