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Calderon v. Dezi

United States District Court, D. Oregon

October 1, 2018

DELVALLE DEZI, et al., Defendants.



         Pro se Plaintiff Arthur B. Calderon, an inmate at the Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), brings this civil rights action against Defendants Deziderio Delvalle, [1] a hearings officer at SRCI, and Melissa Nofziger, an assistant inspector general for the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his substantive and procedural due process rights when he was sanctioned for his role in the assault of another inmate.

         The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. For the following reasons, I grant Defendants' motion and deny Plaintiff's motion.


         On May 17, 2017, at about 9:20 p.m., inmate Manuel Camas-Carroll[2] unilaterally assaulted inmate Leonel Zamora in a day room at SRCI. Delvalle Decl., Ex. 2, at 5 (misconduct report), ECF No. 38. A report completed on the day of the assault stated:

It was reported to me that Inmate Camascarrol, Manuel had exited his cell (3A01A) at the 9:20 PM line movement and ran over to the phone area where Inmate Zamora, Leonel from 3A22B was standing talking on the phone. Inmate Camascarrol then started striking Inmate Zamora in the facial area with closed fist until he knocked him to the floor. Inmate Camascarrol then started kicking and jumping on Inmate Zamora's chest and head area with both feet, by jumping into the air and landing on the side of Inmate Zamora [sic] head.
As the response team entered unit 3A, Inmate Camascarrol picked up a chair sitting in the day room and was hitting Inmate Zamora several times. Sergeant Johnson gave multiple orders to stop his assaultive behavior or chemicals would be used, Inmate Camascarrol continued to hit Inmate Zamora with the chair.

Delvalle Decl., Ex. 2, at 13 (report by Lt. Jerry Mordhorst) (inmate identification numbers omitted). Medical staff determined that Zamora had suffered “multiple abrasions to his head, chest, arms and back area with bruising and swelling.” Id. Camas-Carroll did not report any injuries.

         In a misconduct report on Plaintiff dated June 6, 2017, Lt. Mordhorst stated that an investigation determined that Camas-Carroll and Zamora were members of the Surenos Security Threat Group (Surenos), and that the assault was “a form of internal punishment.” Delvalle Decl., Ex. 2, at 5. The investigation found that Plaintiff, who was considered a leader of the Surenos, had conspired with inmate C. Russell, a “sergeant” with the Surenos, to have Camas-Carroll assault Zamora. Id. Based on the investigation, ODOC officials charged Plaintiff with violating Inmate Assault I, Rule 2.05, and Unauthorized Organization I, Rule 4.5.

         Rule 2.05 on Inmate Assault provides:

An inmate commits Inmate Assault I if he/she:
(A) 2.05.01 Causes serious physical injury to another inmate or causes injury to an inmate that requires staff transporting the inmate to an outside agency for medical care; or
(B) 2.05.02 Causes physical injury to another inmate and uses a dangerous or deadly weapon; or
(C) 2.05.03 Commits a unilateral attack in a location or under circumstances which creates a threat to the safety, security, or orderly operation of the facility, such as the dining hall or the recreation area . . . .

Or. Admin. R. 291-105-0015(2)(c). Rule 4.45 on Unauthorized Organization provides, “An inmate commits Unauthorized Organization I if he/she involves himself/herself with a group of two or more persons, whether formal or informal, and who collectively or in concert creates or actively promotes, recruits, participates in or involves himself/herself in security threat activity.” Or. Admin. R. 291-105-0015(4)(q). Violations of either rule may result in sanctions of up to 120 days in the Disciplinary Segregation Unit, up to 28 days' loss of privileges, a maximum fine of $200, and a time reduction. Delvalle Decl., Ex. 3, at 28 (Major Violations Grid).

         A disciplinary hearing on the charges was set for June 9, 2017. On June 8, 2017, Plaintiff submitted a witness list. Delvalle Decl., Ex. 2, at 41. Plaintiff sought to call Camas-Carroll, Zamora, and Russell, and proposed asking them, “Did I have anything to do with the assault on Inmate Zamora.” Id. Plaintiff also sought to call two correctional officers as character witnesses, asking them “did you see [Plaintiff] working and staying out of trouble and programming on mainline.” Id. He also sought to call two staff members from the prison ...

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