United States District Court, D. Oregon
MR. SHATEEK LEWIS, Plaintiff,
OREGON DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, Hearings Officer, HEATHER NEVIL, Hearings Officer, DAVE POWELL, Correctional Officer, G. PARSONS, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. MCSHANE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate formerly housed at Eastern Oregon Correctional
Institution (EOCI), filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and alleged violations of his constitutional
rights to due process and against retaliation. Defendants now
move for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(c), and in response, plaintiff moves to
amend his complaint. Defendants' motion is granted and
plaintiff's motion is denied.
following facts are taken from plaintiff's Complaint and
from his proposed Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 2, 31-1).
November 14, 2016, plaintiff was working in the EOCI
cafeteria and asked defendant Parsons if he could leave to
use the restroom. Parsons told plaintiff no and directed him
to “hold it.” Compl. at 3. Plaintiff urgently
needed to use the restroom and ultimately used a mop bucket
to relieve himself because the restrooms were locked and
unavailable for use without permission. Plaintiff maintains
that he disposed of the urine through a drain and
“properly cleaned up the area” by sanitizing the
drain and disposing of the dirty bucket. Id.;
Proposed Am. Compl. at 4. Plaintiff was later taken to
“punitive segregation.” Compl. at 3.
November 15, 2015, Parsons issued a Misconduct Report
charging plaintiff with violations of Disobedience of an
Order I and Disrespect I. On November 16, 2016, the
Misconduct Report was resubmitted with the additional
violation of Inmate Assault II, which prohibits conduct that
causes bodily fluids to come into contact with another
inmate. Or. Admin. R. 291-105-0015(2)(d)(A).
November 21, 2016, Hearings Officer Powell conducted a
disciplinary hearing and found that plaintiff committed
Inmate Assault II. Powell sanctioned plaintiff with thirty
days in disciplinary segregation and fourteen days of
restrictions on his activities.
alleges that Parsons subsequently told plaintiff that he did
not find evidence supporting the charge of Inmate Assault II,
but that Hearings Officer Nevil had instructed Parsons to
charge plaintiff with Inmate Assault II. Compl. at 4; see
also Proposed Am. Compl. at 6-7. Plaintiff alleges that
Nevil did so to retaliate against plaintiff for filing
grievances and speaking out against Nevil. Id.
move for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c), arguing
that plaintiff's allegations fail to establish a
cognizable claim. The Ninth Circuit has held that motions for
judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) are
“functionally identical” to motions for failure
to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), “and that
‘the same standard of review' applies to motions
brought under either rule.” Cafasso, U.S. ex rel.
v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1054, n.4
(9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine
Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (1989)).
Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint is construed in favor of the
plaintiff, and its factual allegations are taken as true.
Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d
992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). The court need not accept as true
“conclusory” allegations, unwarranted deductions
of fact, or unreasonable inferences. Id. Instead,
“for a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the
non-conclusory ‘factual content,' and reasonable
inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of
a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.” Moss v.
United States Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir.
2009). In pro se cases particularly, the court must construe
the complaint liberally and afford the plaintiff “the
benefit of any doubt.” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627
F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted).
“Unless it is absolutely clear that no amendment can
cure” defects in the complaint, “a pro se
litigant is entitled to notice of the complaint's
deficiencies and an opportunity to amend prior to dismissal
of the action.” Lucas v. Dep't of Corr.,
66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam).
response to defendants' motion, plaintiff moved for leave
to amend and attached a proposed Amended Complaint. I
consider plaintiff's proposed amendments when determining
the sufficiency of his claims.
Due Process Claim
first claim, plaintiff alleges that Parsons and Powell
violated his due process rights by issuing the amended
Misconduct Report and imposing sanctions when no ...