United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KAREN L. STROMBOM, Magistrate Judge.
The District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action to United States Magistrate Judge Karen L. Strombom pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), and local Magistrate Judge Rules MJR1, MJR3 and MJR4.
Mr. White asserts that the Department of Corrections (DOC) improperly deducted 20% of his paycheck for the cost of community supervision (COS). He seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the Defendants as well as equitable relief.
The named defendants are the Department of Corrections c/o Bernie Warner, Secretary of DOC and Kimberly Johansson, who is a DOC employee working in Olympia.
Mr. White filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 17) but he did not file any additional documents in support of his motion. The Defendants' filed a Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 23. After careful consideration, the undersigned recommends that the Defendants' motion to dismiss be granted.
Mr. White challenges DOC's assessment of costs of supervision against him and the taking of funds from his prison trust account to pay the costs. According to the facts set forth in Mr. White's First Amended Complaint (Dkt. 21), on October 24, 2001 the Department of Corrections assessed two amounts for costs of supervision against Mr. White. The first was in the amount of $620 for a misdemeanor conviction out of Pierce County and the second was in the amount of $900.72 for a felony conviction out of Pierce County. While incarcerated with the Department of Corrections and once he was given a job, the DOC began deducting 20% from his paycheck on December 15, 2001 as payment to the costs of supervision. This continued until he was released in 2008.
On June 26, 2010, the DOC assessed Mr. White $220 for another cost of supervision. According to Mr. White, this assessment occurred while he was in custody in the Pierce County Jail awaiting trial and that he was not under DOC supervision at that time. He was again committed into the custody of DOC on December 21, 2010. He subsequently obtained a job and on June 10, 2011 DOC again began deducting 20% from his paycheck for the $220 costs of supervision.
Mr. White wrote a letter to the COS/LFO Unit at DOC HQ in Olympia. The Defendant, Kimberly Johansson, sent a form letter to Mr. White in response to his letter. This letter appears to be the only involvement Ms. Johansson had in Mr. White's case. In the form letter Mr. White first learned that he could file a complaint regarding the assessed COS fees, which he did. On October 3, 2011, the month following Mr. White's filing of his complaint, he received his institutional monthly statement. This new statement showed that the $220 COS was reset to zero. However, the $42.99 that was already deducted for the COS was never returned to Mr. White.
Mr. White also asserts that the COS in the amount of $620 and $900.72 were wrongfully assessed. Defendants contend that by October of 2011 plaintiff owed no further payments and his cost of supervision debt was zero. Dkt. 23, p. 4. Dkt. 5, pp. 45 and 47.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
A. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
Summary judgment is appropriate when, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, there exists "no genuine dispute as to any material fact" such that "the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Material facts are facts which might affect the outcome of the pending action under governing law. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Genuine disputes ...