United States District Court, D. Alaska
SCREENING ORDER RE: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
R. Beistline Senior United States District Judge
30, 2019, Guy Douglas Hines, a self-represented prisoner,
filed a Civil Rights Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
an Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of the Filing
Fee, and a Request for the Appointment of
Counsel. In that Complaint, Mr. Hines alleged a
single claim of retaliation against Fairbanks Correctional
Center Superintendent Tami Axelsson. The Court screened the
Complaint, certified the claim, and issued an Order Directing
Service and Response, along with an Order to Collect the
Filing Fee. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hines filed
several motions to add additional defendants to his
Complaint. The Court denied the motions, stayed the Answer
from the Defendants, and gave Mr. Hines leave to amend. Mr.
Hines proceeded by filing his First Amended
Hines's First Amended Complaint, he names five
defendants: Superintendent Tami Axelsson, Probation Officer
Timothy Dye, Probation Officer Jane Doe Hoffert, Contractor
Provider John Doe, and Assistant Attorney General Matthias
Cicotte. Broadly, he alleges a vast retaliation scheme
perpetrated against him from August to early September 2017
due to his questioning of staff and filing of prison
Hines alleges that on September 11, 2017, Superintendent
Axelsson interfered in an investigation and that when he
questioned her staff's conduct, she retaliated against
him by placing him in “solitary confinement for a short
period, until [he] said [he] wouldn't raise any more of a
stink about their actions.”Mr. Hines alleges that he
“again started asking questions” and that he
“was moved to . . . another housing unit, that does not
have ready and easy access to medical [which he needs]
because of [his] heart condition that is well documented . .
. [as he has] to be transported to the hospital when [he has]
an episode.” In fact, he alleges, he “had an
episode with [his] heart, and could not get staffs'
attention, and injured [his] foot doing so, then had to be
transported by EMS to the hospital, to have [his] heart
converted, then was brought back and put back in the same
cell, and was left there until [he] was transferred to GCCC,
and no grievance was granted by DOC for her retaliatory
conduct.” These are the same allegations as
previously certified by the Court.
Hines further alleges that during August to September 2017,
Defendants Dye, Hoffert, and Doe retaliated against him by
tampering with his state files by removing substance abuse
records and assessments. Mr. Hines alleges that these
defendants purged his file of these records because of his
questioning of corrections staff. Mr. Hines alleges these
actions resulted in a denial of both parole and furlough,
causing him to remain incarcerated.
Mr. Hines is litigating the same facts as alleged in this
action in state court. The Court takes judicial notice of
Hines v. State of Alaska Board of Parole, No.
3AN-18-10185CI and Hines v. State of Alaska Department of
Corrections, No. 3AN-18-10045CI; both of these cases are
appeals from an administrative agency and pending before the
Alaska Superior Court. The Court notes that Hines v.
State of Alaska Department of Corrections, No.
3AN-18-10045CI, which was litigating the denial of Mr.
Hines's furlough, is closed. The Court further notes that
Hines v. State of Alaska Board of Parole, No.
3AN-18-10185CI, which is litigating Mr. Hines's denial of
parole, remains pending, with oral argument set for March
Mr. Hines alleges that Matthias Cicotte has refused to
produce records and documents and used “undue delay
tactics, ” which he believes is furtherance of the
retaliation scheme. Defendant Cicotte is the Assistant
Attorney General representing the Department of Corrections
in the afore-mentioned state court cases.
relief, Mr. Hines requests (1) damages “in excess of
$50, 000.00 per defendant”; (2) punitive damages to be
determined; (3) an order requiring the defendants
“tender resignation from DOC entirely”; (4) a
declaration that “they did interfere with an
investigation, and retaliated”; and (5) “all
other staff that acted at the direction, ‘Public
law requires a court to conduct an initial screening of a
civil complaint filed by a self-represented prisoner seeking
a waiver of the prepayment of the filing fee. In this
screening, a court shall dismiss the case at any time if the
court determines that the action:
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
determine whether a complaint states a valid claim for
relief, courts consider whether the complaint contains
sufficient factual matter that, if accepted as true,
“state[s] a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” In conducting its review, a court must
liberally construe a self-represented plaintiff's
pleading and give the plaintiff the benefit of the
doubt. Before a court may dismiss any portion
of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, the court must provide the plaintiff with a
statement of the deficiencies in the complaint and an
opportunity to amend or otherwise address the problems,
unless to do so would be futile.
Hines has alleged a vast retaliation scheme in violation of
his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His prior
certified claim against Defendant Axelsson remains the same
and does not mention the missing records at issue in current
state court litigation. At his own admission and as
judicially noticed, Mr. Hines currently is litigating in
state court on the same facts as raised in the allegations
against Defendants Dye, Hoffert, and Doe. Defendant Cicotte
represents the Department of Corrections in the current state
court case. At this time, Mr. Hines's administrative
appeal regarding the denial of his parole proceeds on the
theory that his records were purged in retaliation. The
doctrine of Younger abstention requires the federal
court to abstain where a federal court may enjoin a state
court criminal or other special civil proceedings.
Accordingly, the federal court must abstain from hearing the
claims against Defendants Dye, Hoffert, Doe, and Cicotte for
the reasons discussed below.