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Baguiao v. Peters

United States District Court, D. Oregon

December 17, 2019

ALETHEA MARIE BAGUIAO, Plaintiff,
v.
COLLETE PETERS; HEIDI STEWARD; JEREMIAH STROMBERG; CHRISTOPHER RANDAL; and TRACEY COFFMAN, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MOSMAN, J.

         This matter comes before me on Defendant Tracey Coffman's Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF 18]. Plaintiff Alethea Baguiao is a current prisoner coming before this court in pro se. She alleges in her Amended Complaint ("AC") [ECF 7], under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, that in connection with being denied Short-Term Transitional Leave ("STTL") from her current term of incarceration, Ms. Coffman (1) subjected Ms. Baguiao to an unconstitutional ex post facto law and (2) violated her Fourteenth Amendment rights by denying her administrative review. AC [7] at 6-9[1]. For the reasons explained below, I GRANT Ms. Coffman's motion for summary judgment and dismiss this case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         On February 28, 2018, Ms. Baguiao pled guilty and was convicted of two counts of Theft in the First Degree in Lane County Circuit Court. Washington Decl. [ECF 19] Attach. 1 at 1-2. She committed the two thefts on or about June 18, 2017, and July 5, 2017. Id. She was sentenced to 13 months of imprisonment on each count, to be served consecutively, followed by one year of post-prison supervision. Id. She began serving her sentence on March 15, 2018. Coffman Decl. [ECF 20] ¶ 11. This is her current term of incarceration. Id.

         This is not Ms. Baguiao's first term of incarceration. In fact, her recent conviction came while she was under post-prison supervision for a previous offense. Id. For that previous offense, Ms. Baguiao began serving a term of incarceration on November 3, 2009. Id. While serving that term, Ms. Baguiao was released on an Alternative Incarceration Program ("AIP") non-prison leave on November 2, 2015. Id. However, after violating the terms of the AIP, she was returned to prison on January 14, 2016. Id.

         On June 12, 2017, Oregon Administrative Rule § 291-063-0120 ("the Policy") was enacted, which defines the eligibility requirements for STTL. Id. ¶ 8. Under the Policy, an inmate is not eligible for STTL if she has failed a non-prison leave (such as an AIP) or STTL during her current term of incarceration, or during an immediately preceding term of incarceration. Or. Admin. R. § 291-063-0120(2)(g). In relation to Ms. Baguiao's current term of incarceration, the term that began November 3, 2009, constitutes her "immediately preceding term of incarceration" under the Policy. Coffman Decl. [20] ¶ 11.

         Ms. Baguiao alleges that on April 18, 2018, during her current term of incarceration, she was informed by her intake counselor that, due to the Policy, she was ineligible for STTL because of her failed AIP during her immediately preceding term of incarceration. AC [7] at 6. She was informed that if she wanted an administrative review of the decision finding her ineligible for STTL, she should send an Inmate Communication Form ("kyte") to the Community Corrections Division. Id.

         On April 26, 2018, Ms. Baguiao sent a kyte to Ms. Coffman, who is the STTL coordinator for the Oregon Department of Corrections ("ODOC"), requesting administrative review of the decision denying her STTL. Coffman Decl. [20] ¶¶ 1, 9. Ms. Coffman responded in a letter dated May 2, 2018, ("May 2 Letter") which stated: "This is in response to your request for Administrative Review of your STTL eligibility. According to Oregon Administrative Rule, you are ineligible to receive STTL, as you noted, due to having failed AIP. Exceptions to this rule are not made." Id. ¶ 9. On May 16, 2018, Ms. Baguiao sent a kyte to Jeremiah Stromberg requesting further review of the decision. Id. ¶ 10. The kyte was forwarded to Ms. Coffman, who replied to Ms. Baguiao and explained that administrative review had been completed, referring her to the May 2 Letter. Id. Ms. Baguiao sent additional requests for further review to various ODOC personnel, who generally replied that the matter was closed. See Pl.'s Resp. to Mot. Summ. J. [ECF 24] at 3-5.

         On December 14, 2018, Ms. Baguiao filed the present action. Compl. [ECF 1]. She filed her Amended Complaint on January 1, 2014, naming only Ms. Coffman as Defendant. AC [7]. Ms. Coffman moved for summary judgment on August 28, 2019. Def's Mot. Summ. J. [18].

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is appropriate when "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party seeking summary judgment bears the burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the moving party demonstrates no issue of material fact exists, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and identify facts which show a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324. A party cannot defeat a summary judgment motion by relying on the allegations set forth in the complaint, unsupported conjecture, or conclusory statements. Hernandez v. Spacelabs Med., Inc., 343 F.3d 1107, 1112 (9th Cir. 2003). Summary judgment thus should be entered against "a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.

         To determine whether summary judgment is proper, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Bell v. Cameron Meadows Land Co., 669 F.2d 1278, 1281-82 (9th Cir. 1982).

         DISCUSSION

         Ms. Coffman moves for summary judgment on four grounds: (1) the Policy (Or. Admin. R. § 291-063-0120) is not an ex post facto law; (2) Ms. Coffman did not violate Ms. Baguiao's Fourteenth Amendment rights; (3) Ms. Coffman is shielded from liability by the doctrine of qualified immunity; and (4) Ms. Baguiao's claims against Ms. Coffman in her official capacity are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. [18] at 1-2.1 hold (1) the Policy, as applied to Ms. Baguiao, is not an ex post facto law, and (2) that Ms. Baguiao's ...


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