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Williams v. Oregon State Board of Parole and Post-Prision Supervision

United States District Court, D. Oregon

September 21, 2018

KENNETH G. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
OREGON STATE BOARD OF PAROLE AND POST-PRISON SUPERVISION, is the administrative agency in charge of parole release decisions for Oregon prison inmates; MICHAEL WU, is the Chairperson for the Oregon State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision; SID THOMPSON, is a member of the Oregon State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision; CHRISTINE HERMAN, is a member of the Oregon State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Ann Aiken United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Oregon State Penitentiary, filed suit alleging violations of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act (RA), state discrimination laws, and his federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection. Defendants now move for dismissal, or alternatively, for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, defendants'

         BACKGROUND

         In 1985 and 1986, petitioner was sentenced to consecutive prison terms after convictions on robbery and escape charges. Hsu Decl. Ex. 3 at 1 (ECF No. 10). In 1993, plaintiff was released on parole. Id.

         On July 23, 2008, plaintiff was re-arrested and subsequently returned to the custody of the Department of Corrections (ODOC) after the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (the Board) found plaintiff had violated the conditions of his parole. Id.[1]

         On February 28, 2009, the Board held a future disposition hearing and proposed a parole release date of July 22, 2016. Id.

         On January 6, 2016, the Board held a parole hearing to consider plaintiffs projected release date. Hsu Decl. Ex. 1. The Board reviewed evidence regarding plaintiffs violations of ODOC rules while in custody and his mental status, including an evaluation from Dr. Gary McGuffin. Dr. McGuffin diagnosed plaintiff as suffering from "Other specified personality disorder (mixed personality disorder with antisocial and paranoid personality features)," Id., Ex. 1 at 2, The Board emphasized that Dr. McGuffin also reported:

Consequently, Mr. Williams is still seen as being highly prone to exhibit poor judgment and easily act out at his inappropriate urges resulting in violating rules and showing disrespect and disobedience towards authority figures. Ongoing issues with lacking self-control when becoming emotionally charged indicate a high probability that Mr. Williams could not be successfully supervised if returned to the community and is seen as a moderate risk to reoffend. If Mr. Williams began using alcohol and/or illicit drugs, his risk to reoffend would be seen as severe.

Id. Based in part on Dr. McGuffin's report, the Board concluded that plaintiff has a "present severe emotional disturbance that constitutes a danger to the safety of the community" and deferred plaintiffs projected release date to July 22, 2020. Id. In addition to plaintiffs "mental or emotional disturbance," the Board noted plaintiffs history of misconduct while in ODOC custody and found that each factor would independently support the Board's decision. Id.

         On May 12, 2016, plaintiff sought administrative review of the Board's order. Hsu Deci. Ex. 2. The Board denied relief and informed plaintiff that he could appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals for judicial review. Id. Ex. 4. Plaintiff did not appeal.

         On November 27, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant action.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff alleges that the Board and its members violated his rights against disability discrimination under the Title II of the ADA, the RA, and Oregon statutory law by extending his projected parole date due to his severe emotional disturbance. See McCline v. Bd. of Parole & Post-Prison Supervision, 205 Or.App. 144, 147-48, 133 P.3d 349 (2006) (discussing this Court's decision in Daniels v. Cogswell, No. 3:79-cv-651 (D. Or. Nov. 28, 1979) prohibiting the Board from denying or postponing parole solely on the basis of a severe emotional disturbance). Plaintiff also alleges that defendants violated his federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection, because defendants deferred his parole date because of his disability while releasing similarly-situated inmates without disabilities.

         Defendants move for dismissal of plaintiffs claims, or alternatively, for summary judgment. To prevail on their motion, defendants must show that 1) plaintiffs allegations are not "plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief," Moss v. United States Secret Serv.,572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009); or 2) there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Cehtex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The court must construe the pleadings and evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most ...


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