The opinion of the court was delivered by: Vaughn Walker, District Judge
Plaintiff, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at California State Prison, Solano, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking relief for allegedly unconstitutional deprivation of a gold chain and medallion while at San Quentin State Prison. He also seeks $20,000 for "mental anguish."
Plaintiff seeks to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint "is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted," or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id § 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed, however. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir 1990). Page 2
To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
A negligent or intentional deprivation of a state prisoners property fails to state a due process claim under § 1983 if the state has an adequate post-deprivation remedy. See Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984). California Law provides such an adequate post-deprivation remedy for deprivations of property. See Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813, 816-17 (9th Cir 1994) (citing Cal Gov't Code §§ 810-895). Plaintiffs allegations of deprivation of property accordingly fail to state a cognizable claim under § 1983. See id at 817.*fn1
Plaintiffs request for damages for "metal anguish" also fail to state a cognizable claim because no federal civil action "may be brought by a prisoner confined in a jail, prison or other correctional facility for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical injury." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e). There is no indication whatsoever that plaintiff suffered any such qualifying physical injury. Accord Oliver v. Keller, 289 F.3d 623, 627-29 (9th Cir 2002) (holding that back and leg pain caused by sitting on the cement floor, undefined injuries from being assaulted by another prisoner, and a painful canker sore were de minimis injuries insufficient to satisfy physical injury requirement under 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e)). Page 3
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs request to proceed in forma pauperis (doc. #2) is DENIED and the complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice to seeking relief in the state courts.
The Clerk shall close the file and terminate all pending motions as ...