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Khan v. Barela

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

March 11, 2019

ERIK KHAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRIS BARELA, BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF DONA ANA COUNTY, ARAMARK CORPORATION, CORIZON MEDICAL SERVICES, ELVA BRIGHT, BILL STICKLES, JOHN DOE BEAM, JASON DURAN, and TAMMY RUSH, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on 28 U.S.C. Section 1915A, 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(e)(2)(B), and Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Prisoner's Second Amended and Verified Civil Rights Complaint filed by Plaintiff Erik Khan (Doc. 70). The Court concludes that Plaintiff Khan's Second Amended Complaint fails to state a claim for relief and dismisses the case with prejudice.

         Mr. Khan pled guilty and was convicted in this Court of distribution, receipt, possession, and attempted production of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He is presently serving a 240-month sentence at FCI Ft. Dix, New Jersey. (CR 12-02901 RB, Doc. 174). Prior to his conviction, Plaintiff Khan was a pretrial detainee at the Doña Ana County Detention Center (“DACDC”). Mr. Khan's claims arise out of his pre-rial detention at DACDC. (Doc. 70 at 1, ¶ 4).

         Plaintiff Khan filed his original, handwritten, Verified Civil Rights Complaint, consisting of a total of 73 pages, on December 14, 2015. (Doc. 1). Khan subsequently filed a number of supplements and additional documentation in support of the Complaint. On January 27, 2016, the Court entered an Order striking Khan's Complaint, supplements, and exhibits, as violative of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and granted him leave to file an amended complaint that complied with Rule 8's pleading requirements. (Doc. 31). Plaintiff Khan filed his handwritten Verified Civil Rights Complaint (Amended) on February 5, 2016. (Doc. 35). Following sentencing on his federal criminal charges, Khan sought a stay of proceedings during the pendency of his transfer from DACDC to FCT Ft. Dix. (Doc. 53). The Court granted his requested stay of proceedings. (Doc. 57). Following Khan's transfer and expiration of the stay of proceedings, the Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order dismissing Khan's Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6) and Section 1915(e)(2)(B). (Doc. 69). The Court also granted Khan leave to file a second amended complaint within 45 days of entry of the Memorandum Opinion and Order. (Doc. 69).

         Khan filed his current Prisoner's Second Amended and Verified Civil Rights Complaint on November 7, 2016. (Doc. 70). Khan's Second Amended Complaint reorganizes his allegations and cites to specific constitutional provisions, but his claims remain legally and factually deficient.

         1. Unconstitutional Policies (Counts I and II)

         In Count I, Plaintiff Khan contends that thirteen of DACDC's rules or policies are facially unconstitutional:

(a) Prisoners may not have access or possess calendars;
(b) Prisoners may not have access to or possess clocks;
(c) Prisoners may not have access to or possess any hardcover books;
(d) Prisoners may not have access to or possess any newspapers;
(e) Prisoners may not have access to or possess any newspaper clippings;
(f) Prisoner will not sit on toilets;
(g) Prisoners will not sit on beds;
(h) Prisoners will access the recreation yard for exercise purposes for a maximum of 2.5 hours per calendar week;
(i) Prisoners will not be issued any undergarments;
(j) Prisoners will be issued only one uniform;
(k) Prisoners must be exposed to lights 24 hours per day;
(l) Prisoners must submit to a full strip-frisk search (a/k/a strip-visual search) when returning from Court or a Medical appointment;
(m) Prisoners are not permitted exercise outside of their cells except for the 2.5 hours provided in the recreation yard.

(Doc. 70 at 5-6). Count II of the Second Amended Complaint claims that the policies identified in Count I were adopted by Defendants Barela and the Board to “aid in the prosecution of anyone accused of a crime . . .and to make life unbearable for anyone that intended to try and defend on the merits.” (Doc. 70 at 6, ¶ 21). Khan further claims that “[b]y removing all constitutionally protected comforts, Mr. Barela is effectively forcing ...


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