Michael Holmberg

David’s Heart Part VII.1 – By Michael Holmberg

INCIDENT NO. 4: In 2007 Mr. Hillary Walls-Stewart was subjected to retaliation while at SCCC. CO Tammy Nikula locked Mr. Walls-Srewart in his cell for hours, refusing to allow him access to the restroom, until he soiled himself. Next, CO Nikula called Mr. Walls-Stewart a “he/she,” “fag” and an “it” in the presence of other prisoners. Soon after this incident was reported CO Nikula filed false and misleading infractions against Mr. Walls-Stewart in retaliation for reporting CO Nikula’s misconduct. A Hearings Officer dismissed the infractions as not being factually supported. Mr. Walls-Stweart filed a civil case to address CO Nikula’s retaliatory conduct. [6] The case was settled.

INCIDENT NO. 5: In January 2007 I was subjected to religious discrimination by WDOC personnel at MICC. I filed a grievance [7] to address the issue and was told in a Level-2 response that it was against WDOC policy for a prisoner to conduct a one-on-one bible study without a sponsor present. I filed a civil case to address the false and misleading basis for the actions taken against me by WDOC personnel. [8] 

During the course litigation – in December 2009 – a Chaplain Barnes called one of my religious sponsors, leaving a message on his answering machine, stating that if I didn’t drop my current grievance and civil case there could be adverse consequences for our religious program. After evaluating the threat my Elders asked me to consider dropping my grievance and civil case. After prayerful contemplation, I withdrew the grievance and the civil case. 

However, when I filed my Motion to Withdraw I included evidence demonstrating that from 2007 through 2009 two other religious groups were allowed to meet twice a week for bible study, without a sponsor present, averaging somewhere between ten to twenty prisoners per meeting – evidence supporting my claims of religious discrimination. I also explained to the Judge the reason for my motion – a threat of retaliation. The Judge stated he’d read my motion and evidence, confirming he understood my reason for withdrawal, dismissing the case without prejudice, in case I changed my mind.

INCIDENT NO. 6: In 2008 and 2009 I was subjected to retaliation while at MICC. I attempted to utilize funds in my Mandatory Savings Account (MSA) to pay for Court Reporter fees and a filing fee – litigation activities. Both requests were denied by WDOC personnel at MICC as not being authorized per policy. I filed a civil case to address the pretextual, retaliatory conduct. [9]

While the District Court ruled against me, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the District Court decision. [10] The Court’s decision was based on evidence suggesting the defendants granted five other prisoners access to their MSA to pay for litigation activities per policy, while denying my requests for access during the same time-frame per policy – evidence suggesting I was subjected to retaliation. The case was settled.

INCIDENT NO. 7: In 2008 Mr. Earle Johnson was subjected to retaliation while at MICC. CO James Dye filed a false and misleading infraction against Mr. Johnson in response to a discussion they’d had regarding Mr. Johnson’s law related activities. The Hearings Officer dismissed the infraction as not being factually supported. Mr. Johnson filed a civil case to address the retaliatory infraction. [11] The case was settled.

INCIDENT NO. 8: In April 2009 I was subjected to retaliation while at MICC. CO Paul Drago filed a false and misleading infraction against me, accusing me of a 663 violation for intimidation, in response to my law related activities. The infraction was dismissed by the Hearings Officer as not being factually supported. I filed a civil case to address the retaliatory infraction. [12] The Court found evidence of retaliation. The case was settled.

INCIDENT NO. 9: In 2012 Mr. Daniel Smith was falsely accused of misconduct while at SCCC. CO Tammy Nikula filed two, false and misleading Serious Infractions against Mr. Smith. The Hearings Officer reviewed video evidence and dismissed the infractions as not being factually supported. Mr. Smith file a civil case to address CO Nikula’s misconduct. [13] The case was settled.

INCIDENT NO. 10: In October 2013 Mr. Kevin Brown was subjected to racially motivated harassment and retaliation, while at SCCC. CO Mark Schnoor called Mr. Brown an “f___ing n___er,” “spineless” and a “boy” in the presence of other prisoners in the H5 Living Unit. Mr. Brown filed a grievance to address CO Schnoor’s misconduct. In response to the grievance CUS Terry McElravy threatened Mr. Brown with a transfer if he continued to pursue the grievance against CO Schnoor. Mr. Brown filed a civil case to address his being denied equal protection and subjected to retaliation. [14] The Court found evidence of a denial of equal protection and retaliation. The case was settled.

INCIDENT NO. 11: In 2013 Mr. Bryan Stetson was subjected to retaliation while at SCCC. Mr. Stetson filed a grievance to address being denied access to legal copies in a family law case by H1 Unit personnel. During the Level-2 grievance investigation CUS Kathryn Bruner suggested that things may not go well for Mr. Stetson if he continued with the grievance. The grievance was resolved at Level-3 in Mr. Stetson’s favor. The day he requested Unit personnel comply with the Level-3 decision, adverse action was taken to transfer him to another unit. Mr. Stetson filed a civil case to address the retaliatory transfer. [15] The Court found evidence of deception regarding the reasons justifying Mr. Stetson’s transfer – evidence of retaliation. The case was settled.

Michael Holmberg
DOC #741372

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