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Joyner v. Christon

United States District Court, D. Idaho

November 13, 2018

MIGUEL CHARLES JOYNER, Plaintiff,
v.
SGT. B. CHRISTON, TERRIE ROSENTHAL, CLINTON E. BLAKE, JESSE HALL, SGT. MELODEE ARMFIELD, RANDY BLADES and IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill Chief U.S. District Court Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Defendants Terrie Rosenthal, Clinton Blake, and Randy Blades' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 23). For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant the motion.

         FACTS

         Plaintiff Miguel Joyner is an inmate in the custody of Idaho Department of Corrections. On December 1, 2013, another inmate reported that he had been assaulted by the only two black inmates on the tier at the time - Joyner and Spellmeyer. Joyner says he was involved in the altercation but denies being an aggressor; he says he simply attempted to stop Spellmeyer from attacking the victim.

         Joyner and Spellmeyer each received Disciplinary Offense Reports (“DORs”). Defendants have testified that it is their practice to issue DORs to everyone involved in a physical altercation except the victim. Before the DORs were issued, a correctional officer investigated the incident, which included interviewing the victim and a witness. Both the victim and the witness identified Joyner as one of the assailants. Accordingly, a DOR was written up, and Defendant Officer Clinton Blake delivered it to Joyner.

         On December 20, 2013, a DOR hearing was conducted. The hearing officer confirmed Joyner's DOR and imposed sanctions of 10 days' detention, 30 days' commissary restriction, and 30 days' recreation restriction. None of the three defendants (Blake, Rosenthal, and Blades) were involved in the DOR hearing, but Defendant Terrie Rosenthal reviewed the DOR after the hearing. In her capacity as the Administrative Review Authority, Rosenthal had authority to affirm, modify, or dismiss the DOR. She affirmed Joyner's DOR and the sanctions, concluding that evidence supported the DOR and that the sanctions Joyner received were consistent with sanctions imposed upon other inmates for similar offenses.

         Joyner appealed to Defendant Warden Randy Blades, who also affirmed the DOR. Shortly afterward, Keith Yordy replaced Blades as the warden. Joyner approached Yordy and asked him to dismiss the DOR. Yordy initially modified the DOR to a Class C offense (from a Class B offense) and subsequently dismissed it entirely.

         In October 2015, Joyner sued. He alleges that the DOR was issued to him because he was black - not because he did anything wrong. He also says the DOR was issued as part of defendants' campaign of harassment against him.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In his original and first amended complaint, Joyner alleged that in addition to receiving a DOR for the December 1, 2013 incident, he received additional DORs during 2011 through 2013. See Compl., Dkt. 3; Am. Compl., Dkt. 15. Joyner says each of these DORs is factually baseless and that, taken as a group, the DORs show defendants subjected him to a campaign of harassment.

         In earlier orders, however, the Court held that Joyner had not sufficiently alleged facts linking the DORs and that Joyner's complaints regarding these earlier DORs were time barred. Successive Review Order, Dkt. 16, at 6. Joyner was thus allowed to proceed only as to the December 2013 DOR, though the Court indicated that Joyner could file an amended complaint if he later learned of facts that would “support his earlier claims and his claims of a continuing tort.” See Id. at 7-8.

         Joyner did not subsequently amend his complaint, and he has not otherwise come forward with any additional facts demonstrating that the various DORs are factually linked such that they support his continuing tort/campaign of harassment theory. Accordingly, in this Order, the Court will address only the December 2013 DOR.

         LEGAL ...


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