stating that officers reasonably interpreted a prisoner's threat to file a lawsuit as not protected by the First AmendmentSummary of this case from Reed v. Bowen
The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed.R.App.P. 34(a)(2).
Filed November 22, 2010.
Christopher A. Jones, Indian Springs, NV, pro se.
Janet E. Traut, AGNV-Office of the Nevada Attorney General, Carson City, NV, for Defendants-Appellees.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Howard D. McKibben, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-03-00276-HDM-VPC.
Before: TASHIMA, BERZON, and CLIFTON, Circuit Judges.
This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3.
Nevada state prisoner Christopher A. Jones appeals pro se from the district court's judgment in his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging that prison officials disciplined him in retaliation for threatening to file a lawsuit. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review de novo the district court's conclusions of law and for clear error its findings of fact and computation of damages following a bench trial. Lentini v. Cal. Ctr. for the Arts, Escondido, 370 F.3d 837, 843 (9th Cir. 2004). We affirm.
Following the bench trial, the district court properly denied judgment to Jones regarding three defendants because it found that those defendants reasonably interpreted Jones' threat as including conduct not protected by the First Amendment. See Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567-68 (9th Cir. 2005) (listing elements of a retaliation claim in the prison context).
The district court did not clearly err in finding that Jones was entitled to only nominal damages. See Lentini 370 F.3d at 850-51 (describing deferential standard applied to award of damages).
Jones' remaining contentions are unpersuasive.