United States District Court, D. Oregon
CHARLES S. POPE, Plaintiff,
STATE OF OREGON, OREGON PAROLE BOARD, and OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.
Charles S. Pope, pro se.
F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Andrew Hallman, Assistant
Attorney General, Oregon Department of Justice, 1162 Court
Street NE, Salem, OR 97301. Of Attorneys for Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon United States District Judge.
Charles Pope filed a pro se complaint against the
Defendants the State of Oregon, the Oregon Parole Board, and
the Oregon Department of Corrections under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff alleges violations of his state and federal
constitutional rights. He seeks both compensatory and
punitive damages in an amount totaling more than $800, 000.
Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow,
Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim may be granted
only when there is no cognizable legal theory to support the
claim or when the complaint lacks sufficient factual
allegations to state a facially plausible claim for relief.
Shroyer v. New Cingular Wireless Servs., Inc., 622
F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2010). In evaluating the
sufficiency of a complaint's factual allegations, the
court must accept as true all well-pleaded material facts
alleged in the complaint and construe them in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Wilson v.
Hewlett-Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir.
2012); Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ. Ass'n,
629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). To be entitled to a
presumption of truth, allegations in a complaint “may
not simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must
contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give
fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself
effectively.” Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1216 (9th Cir. 2011). All reasonable inferences from the
factual allegations must be drawn in favor of the plaintiff.
Newcal Indus. v. Ikon Office Solution, 513 F.3d
1038, 1043 n.2 (9th Cir. 2008). The court need not, however,
credit the plaintiff's legal conclusions that are couched
as factual allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678-79 (2009).
complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations to
“plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that
it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be
subjected to the expense of discovery and continued
litigation.” Starr, 652 F.3d at 1216. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556
(2007)). “The plausibility standard is not akin to a
probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Mashiri v. Epstein Grinnell & Howell, 845 F.3d
984, 988 (9th Cir. 2017) (quotation marks omitted).
must liberally construe the filings of a pro se
plaintiff and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any
reasonable doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010). “Unless it is absolutely clear that no
amendment can cure the defect, . . . a pro se litigant is
entitled to notice of the complaint's deficiencies and an
opportunity to amend prior to dismissal of the action.”
Garity v. APWU Nat'l Labor Org., 828 F.3d 848,
854 (9th Cir. 2016) (alteration in original) (quoting
Lucas v. Dep't of Corrections, 66 F.3d 245, 248
(9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam)). Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2), however, every complaint must contain
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” This standard
“does not require ‘detailed factual allegations,
'” but does demand “more than an unadorned,
the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
was an inmate in the custody of the State of Oregon for
thirty years. Plaintiff alleges that the Oregon Parole Board
had set his release date for July 21, 2016, but one week
before his scheduled release the Board rescinded his release
based on a misconduct report from the Department of
Corrections dated July 11, 2016. Plaintiff alleges that this
action violated Oregon regulations and denied him due process
of law. On August 8, 2016, the Parole Board ordered Plaintiff
to undergo a psychological evaluation and scheduled Plaintiff
for an exit interview in preparation for his release. On
November 16, 2016, the Board notified Plaintiff that he was
due to be released that day, but that same day Plaintiff
received a notification that his release plan was inadequate
because his place of residence was unverified. Therefore, his
release was deferred until such time as the Board could
verify Plaintiff's post-release place of residency, but
the deferral could not exceed 90 days. Plaintiff contends
that he submitted the exact same release plan to the Parole
Board on March 2, 2016 and June 15, 2016, and the Board did
not notify him that his release plan was inadequate on those
December 12, 2016, release counselor M. Farnsworth met with
Plaintiff and notified him that he was to be released in
three days. Plaintiff appears to have been released from
custody on December 15, 2016. Upon his release, Plaintiff
reported to the Parole Office and learned that he was being
assigned a parole officer from the sex offender unit.
Plaintiff adamantly disagrees with being assigned to sex
offender treatment because he was neither charged with nor
convicted of any sex crimes.
alleges that the Oregon Department of Corrections failed to
properly or adequately train their release counselors,
specifically M. Farnsworth, resulting in more than three
weeks of emotional and mental distress due to the delay in
his release from November 16, 2016 until December 15, 2016.
Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that the Oregon Department of
Corrections violated its own procedures and administrative
rules, leading to the deprivation of Plaintiff's liberty
for an additional 145 days beyond his scheduled release date.
Supreme Court has interpreted the Eleventh Amendment
generally to prohibit a citizen from suing a state in federal
court. College Savings Bank v. Fla. Prepaid Postsecondary
Educ. Expense Bd., 527 U.S. 666, 669-70 (1999). Supreme
Court case law establishes that a state is immune from suit
in federal court unless Congress has abrogated the
state's immunity by appropriate federal legislation or
the state itself has waived it. Va. Office for Prot.
& Advocacy v. Stewart, 131 S.Ct. 1632, 1637 (2011).
“[I]n the absence of consent a suit in which the State
or one of its agencies or departments is named as the
defendant is proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment.”
Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465
U.S. 89, 100 (1984). Defendants the State of Oregon, the
Oregon Department of Corrections, and the Oregon Parole Board
correctly assert that they are arms of the State of Oregon.
Plaintiff, therefore, may only bring suit against Defendants
if Congress has abrogated Defendants' sovereign immunity
or if Defendants have waived their immunity. See Id.
Congress has not abrogated Eleventh Amendment ...