Castro v. Terhune

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 04-05-2013
  • Case #: 11-16837
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge N. R. Smith for the Court; Circuit Judges Farris and Thomas
  • Full Text Opinion

Because the “some evidence” analysis is an “evidentiary standard,” procedural due process guarantees a California inmate’s administrative "validation" as a gang "associate" be reviewed under the “some evidence” standard.

Carlos Castro was originally “validated” by California prison officials as an “associate” of the Mexican Mafia on April 24, 1997. As a result of his validation, Castro was placed under administrative segregation and transferred to the Security Housing Unit (“SHU”) at Pelican Bay State Prison. Prison officials conducted this validation pursuant to a district court Remedial Order. Castro appealed the court’s termination of the Order, arguing the court erred by not reviewing his validation as a gang associate under the “some evidence” standard. The Ninth Circuit held the “some evidence” analysis is an “evidentiary standard,” and thus, procedural due process guarantees that a California inmate’s validation as a gang associate be analyzed under the “some evidence” standard. The panel found this error harmless as the “record [was] adequately developed such that ‘no rational jury’ could find for Castro.” The panel further held that Castro’s due process challenge failed because he had notice his conduct could result in validation as a gang associate and that Castro failed to show that prison officials acted arbitrarily in his validation. Finally, the panel held Castro’s recent validation was procedurally sufficient related to the “Remedial Order’s requirement that Castro be determined to be a prison gang associate ‘now.’” AFFIRMED.

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