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Williamson v. Houser

United States District Court, District of Alaska

March 16, 2015

THOR JAMES WILLIAMSON, Plaintiff,
v.
EARL HOUSER, et al., Defendants.

ORDER PERMITTING THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT SOLELY ON COURT FORM

SHARON L. GLEASON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Thor James Williamson, a self-represented state prisoner, has filed a Second Amended Complaint (SAC) as permitted by the Court’s Order at Docket 24.[1] In his SAC, Mr. Williamson asserts violations of his Due Process rights against each of the Defendants, state officials at Palmer Correctional Center (PCC), in their individual capacities for money damages.[2]

In its earlier Order Permitting Amended Complaint, at Docket 21, the Court explained the requirements for stating a claim for relief for violations that may have occurred as a result of the acts of various state officials in Mr. Williamson’s case.[3]The possible claims explained by the Court, after reviewing the facts alleged by Mr. Williamson, included the denial of the right of access to the courts, [4] the violation of the right to Due Process, [5] and retaliation for the exercise of his First Amendment rights.[6] The Court also explained that to obtain money damages from an individual defendant, Mr. Williamson must assert facts showing that that individual defendant participated in causing his alleged injuries.[7]

Again, because Mr. Williamson is a prisoner, the Court is required to “identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.”[8]

1. Mr. Williamson has failed to state a claim for relief for the violation of his right to Due Process.

The Supreme Court has explained that “the Due Process Clause provides that certain substantive rights-life, liberty, and property-cannot be deprived except pursuant to constitutionally adequate procedures. . . [O]nce it is determined that the Due Process Clause applies, ‘the question remains what process is due.’”[9]Further, Mr. Williamson must show that any denial of his right to Due Process resulted in an injury in fact.[10]

In his first claim for relief, against Earl Houser, the Assistant Superintendent of PCC, Mr. Williamson alleges as follows:

After being placed in segregation denied and deprived access to my current civil legal documents from the courts for 49 days. by knowing his officers seized court documentation until disciplinary action could be imposed before D-Board and all segregation time completed. After stating “employees of the Department do not deny any ones their rights to Due Process”. After All Earl Houser was one of the officers that had placed me in segregation to begin with. My right to “Due Process” were violated by the above named defendant for (49) days while housed in segregation. This conduct is unacceptable and constitutes deliberate indifference. Plaintiff had permission by staff remember Paul Kroening to store a box of legal work in his office. And my name and the box had the words (LEGAL COURT DOCUMENTS) written all over it. So, there was no chance of this box of legal documents could be considered abandoned property, or what it was. Or who it belonged to. Or where I was at.[11]

Mr. Williamson states that he was denied access to his legal documents while he was in segregation for 49 days.[12] He has not specifically stated, however, how his Due Process rights were violated during that process, resulting in an injury. Thus, Mr. Williamson has not stated a claim for relief against Earl Houser for the violation of his right to Due Process.[13]

In his second claim for relief, Mr. Williamson alleges that Robert Hall, a sergeant at PCC, violated his rights as follows:

On 9/19/2014, Plaintiff submitted request for access to his legal documentation regarding Civil Complaint and litigation. Defendant Hall denied me access to my documentation and stated that I’m only allowed to have information pertaining to my criminal case. Defendant Robert Hall continued to deny me access to my Civil case by stating that I will be able to work on it once I was released from segregation. Defendant Hall consistently denies my requests again on Sept 29th 2014. My rights to “Due Process” were violated by Robert Hall for an extended period of time. This conduct is unacceptable and constitutes, “deliberate indifference” to my civil rights.[14]

Again, alleging that Mr. Williamson was denied access to his legal documents while he was in segregation for 49 days, without more, does not state a claim for relief for the ...


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