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Randolph v. Vaugh

February 17, 2006

JORDAN RANDOLPH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SERGEANT E. VAUGH, SERGEANT JOHN HENLEY, CORRECTION OFFICER JOHN MAYFIELD, CORRECTION OFFICER T. PLUMMER & CORRECTION OFFICER L. DAVIS, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITIES, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Andrew J. Peck, United States Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

To the Honorable Deborah A. Batts, United States District Judge:

Presently before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss the § 1983 complaint of pro se plaintiff Jordan Randolph, or for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 14: Motion; see also Dkt. Nos. 15-16, 19-20.) Plaintiff Randolph's opposition papers include both his affidavit and additional documents. (Dkt. No. 21.)

For the reasons discussed below, defendants' motion should be granted and plaintiff Randolph's amended complaint should be dismissed.

FACTS

Plaintiff Randolph's Claims

Plaintiff Randolph's pro se amended complaint describes two distinct sets of events. First, Randolph asserts that on August 12, 2004, defendant Corrections Officer John Mayfield filed a false misbehavior report alleging that Randolph assaulted another inmate, and that as a result Randolph spent twelve days in keeplock confinement before being found not guilty of the charges. (Dkt. No. 4: Am. Compl. ¶ II.D; see Dkt. No. 15: Defs. Br. at 3; Dkt. No. 3: 3/23/05 Order by Chief Judge Mukasey at 1-2.)

The second incident raised in the complaint is that defendant Corrections Officers T. Plummer and L. Davis conducted a search of Randolph's cell and "confiscated legal documents that pertained to [Randolph's] currently pending appeal," which "appeal was later dismissed, because defendants confiscated the necessary documents to perfect [Randolph's criminal] appeal." (Am. Compl. ¶ II.D; see Defs. Br. at 3-4; 3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 2.)

Chief Judge Mukasey's Order

Chief Judge Mukasey reviewed Randolph's original complaint, and dismissed it with leave to replead only certain claims. (Dkt. No. 3: 3/23/05 Mukasey Order.)

Chief Judge Mukasey dismissed Randolph's claims against the Department of Corrections pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment. (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 2-3.) Chief Judge Mukasey dismissed Randolph's claim against Superintendent Fisher for lack of allegations of personal involvement. (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 3.) Chief Judge Mukasey also dismissed Randolph's retaliation claim as "'wholly conclusory.'" (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 6-7.) Chief Judge Mukasey also dismissed Randolph's allegation that the Tier III misbehavior report was falsely filed, since there was no allegation that the disciplinary proceeding itself did not comply with due process requirements. (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 3-4.) Randolph did not reallege any of these claims in his Amended Complaint, and thus they are not involved in the present motion.

Chief Judge Mukasey also dismissed Randolph's claim that he was keeplocked for twelve days, holding that twelve days in keeplock was not "'atypical and significant'" under Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484, 115 S. Ct. 2293, 2300 (1995), and thus Randolph was not deprived of a protected liberty interest. (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 4-5.) Chief Judge Mukasey dismissed Randolph's denial of access to the courts claim (based on the seizure of his legal material), for failure to "allege actual injury as a result of his allegation that defendants removed legal paperwork from his cell." (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 6.)

Chief Judge Mukasey granted Randolph leave to amend his complaint "to detail his claims of retaliation" -- which Randolph has not done --"and denial of access to courts." (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 7.) "As to plaintiff's denial of access to courts claim, plaintiff must show actual injury as a result of his allegation that defendants removed his legal items from his cell. Plaintiff must also name the individuals involved as defendants and state how they were involved in the alleged constitutional violation." (3/23/05 Mukasey Order at 7.)

On or about May 19, 2005, Randolph filed his Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 4), described above. On November 9, 2005, defendants moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint. ...


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