United States District Court, D. Idaho
KEITH A. BROWN, Plaintiff,
KEITH YORDY; SGT. RAMIREZ; SGT. SEELY; SGT. LEE; KEVIN KEMPF; JEFF ZAMUDA; IDAHO BOARD OF CORRECTIONS AND IDAHO COMMISSION OF PARDONS, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, U.S. District Court Judge.
before the Court are six motions filed by Plaintiff Keith
Brown. The motions are ripe for adjudication. After careful
consideration, and for the reasons explained below, the Court
will deny Plaintiff's motions for appointment of counsel
(Dkt. 48; Dkt. 53), the Court will grant in part and deny in
part Plaintiff's motions to compel discovery (Dkt. 54;
Dkt. 56), the Court will conditionally grant Plaintiff's
motion regarding introduction of his disciplinary records and
the Balla monthly monitoring meeting minutes (Dkt.
55), and will deny Plaintiff's motion for return of
appellate filing fees. (Dkt. 50.)
A. Brown is a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department
of Corrections (IDOC) and is proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis in this action. On April 14, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a Complaint alleging that Defendants violated
his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the
Constitution of the United States of America. On November 2,
2018, United States Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale reviewed
Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915 and 1915A, determined that it failed to state a claim
upon which relief could be granted, and gave Plaintiff an
opportunity to file an amended complaint. (Dkt. 21.)
case was reassigned to the undersigned District Judge on
December 4, 2017, for consideration of dismissal. (Dkt. 22.)
On December 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint.
(Dkt. 25.) On May 1, 2018, the Court issued a Successive
Review Order, wherein it reviewed the initial Complaint and
Judge Dale's Initial Review Order de novo. (Dkt.
26.) The Court adopted Judge Dale's analysis and
conclusions regarding the insufficiency of the initial
Complaint. Id. The Court also reviewed the Amended
Complaint, concluded that Plaintiff failed to remedy the
deficiencies in the initial Complaint, and dismissed the case
with prejudice. (Dkt. 26; Dkt. 27.) Plaintiff appealed the
Court's decision to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit.
September 12, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that
affirmed in part and reversed in part this Court's order,
and remanded the case for further proceedings. The Ninth
Circuit held that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint states a
plausible due process claim based on allegations that
Plaintiff was unable to present evidence during two
disciplinary hearings that led to Plaintiff being temporarily
held in enhanced confinement conditions. (Dkt. 33 at 2.)
Ninth Circuit found also that Plaintiff pleaded plausible
equal protection and retaliation claims based on the
allegation that his disciplinary category was enhanced based
on his status as a Balla case representative.
Id. at 3-4. The Ninth Circuit's mandate issued
on October 10, 2018. (Dkt. 34.) In line with the Ninth
Circuit's judgment, the Court reopened the case (Dkt.
35), and Defendants filed their Answer. Subsequently,
Plaintiff filed the six pending motions. The Court will
analyze the merits of each motion below.
August 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion that sought, in
part, clarification of the United States Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit's Memorandum and Mandate. (Dkt. 54.)
Plaintiff filed a second motion to similar effect on
September 3, 2019. (Dkt. 56.) As such, the Court will outline
Plaintiff's surviving claims below prior to turning to
the substantive motions.
Due Process Claims
Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court's dismissal of
the following three due process-based claims:
(1) The claim that Defendants violated prison policy during
Brown's disciplinary hearing. This claim was dismissed by
the Court because “a § 1983 claim cannot be based
on a prison's failure to follow its ‘own, more
general procedures,' so long as minimum constitutional
requirements are met.” (Dkt. 26 at 7; (quoting
Walker v. Sumner, 14 F.3d 1415, 1420 (9th Cir.
(2) Plaintiff's claim that Defendants violated the
Balla injunctions. (Dkt. 21 at 25; Dkt. 26 at 7-8.)
This claim was addressed by the Court in combination with the
policy allegations in the Original Review Order and again in
the Successive Review Order. (Dkt. 21 at 25; Dkt. 26 at 7-8.)
It was dismissed in both orders because “any argument
that the IDOC is not complying with an injunction in another
case cannot be brought in a separate action but must instead
be asserted in the original action.” Id.
Although the Ninth Circuit did not address this claim
separately from the other policy claims, it affirmed this
Court's dismissal of the policy claim, and thus did not
reverse the judgment as to this claim. (See Dkt.
33.) (3) Plaintiff's claim that his thirty-day
confinement in disciplinary segregation violated a protected
liberty interest. Id. at 2. The Ninth Circuit found
Plaintiff failed to show that this discipline imposed an
“atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in
relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.”
Id. (quoting Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S.
472, 484 (1995)).
the foregoing, Plaintiff's surviving due process-based
(1) the allegation that Defendants violated his procedural
due process rights because he was unable to present evidence
during his disciplinary hearing; and
(2) that he had a protected liberty interest in avoiding
detention at the Idaho State Maximum Security Institution.
(See Dkt. 33 at 2-3.)
Equal Protection and Retaliation Claim
Ninth Circuit's order revived Plaintiff's Equal
Protection and Retaliation claim. Plaintiff alleged his
disciplinary charge was enhanced in retaliation for Plaintiff
serving as a class representative in Balla v. IDOC,
1:81-cv-01165-BLW, and therefore prison authorities treated
him differently than other similarly situated inmates. (Dkt.
25 at 19.) To this end, the Ninth Circuit found Plaintiff
stated a plausible equal protection and retaliation claim and
reversed the Court's judgment as to ...