United States District Court, N.D. California
October 14, 2005.
LAWRENCE GEORGE HASH, Plaintiff,
SUSAN HINKE, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MAXINE CHESNEY, District Judge
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Lawrence Hash, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed
the above-titled civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and against private investigators he retained to gather evidence
on his behalf. He alleges that such defendants failed to
adequately perform after he paid them $1000, and that they will
not return his money. He has applied for leave to proceed in
A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a party seeks to proceed in forma pauperis. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), (e)(2). In its review, the court must
dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See id. 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. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
A private individual does not act under color of state law, an
essential element of a § 1983 action. See Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980).
Purely private conduct, no matter how wrongful, is not covered
under § 1983. See Ouzts v. Maryland Nat'l Ins. Co.,
505 F.2d 547, 559 (9th Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 421 U.S. 949 (1975).
Simply put: there is no constitutional right to be free from the
infliction of deprivations by private individuals. See Van Ort
v. Estate of Stanewich, 92 F.3d 831, 835 (9th Cir. 1996). As the
defendants named in the complaint are private individuals,
plaintiff's claims against them do not state a cognizable claim
for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Accordingly, the complaint is hereby DISMISSED.
The Clerk shall close the file.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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