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Jones-Bey v. Tilton

November 12, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is plaintiff's first amended complaint (Doc. 11).

The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Moreover, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that complaints contain a ". . . short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). This means that claims must be stated simply, concisely, and directly. See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996) (referring to Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e)(1)). These rules are satisfied if the complaint gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it rests. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996). Because plaintiff must allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts by specific defendants which support the claims, vague and conclusory allegations fail to satisfy this standard. Additionally, it is impossible for the court to conduct the screening required by law when the allegations are vague and conclusory.


This action proceeds on the first amended complaint filed on March 17, 2008 (Doc. 11). Plaintiff names the following as defendants: James Tilton and J. Gaskin. Plaintiff alleges:

Due to C.D.C.R. refusing to follow there own procedure of the Law of Rule's they cause the plaintiff to be stabb and C.D.C.R. knew the same enemy stabb plaintiff month's before. Plaintiffs C-file will show this mistake with my life, and it was refuse proper medical care & C.D.C.R. refuse to take response ability for this mistake due to evidence of the fact's.

Director of C.D.C.R. [defendant Tilton] refuse to order his staff to follow C.D.C.R. own law of procedure to rule's on heroic act's due to notice sent to him showing that his staff refuse to addressed appeal LAC-D-98-1547 and mod order #99-50 LAC-D-00-1373, and R.J.D. #06-1463.

Director of C.D.C.R. refuse to enforce appeals, and mod order's.

H.D.S.P. reason was very race acted action's. [¶] Upon coming to SAC CCI Gaskin refuse to correct these action due to he would make him look bad to go against H.D.S.P. staff. He did not have to act on my case load if he was not going to follow the law.

Documents attached to the complaint, and to which plaintiff refers, reveal additional facts. Specifically, one document reveals that, while housed at Lancaster State Prison, plaintiff was being considered for a "meritorious sentence reduction" because he "came to the aid of a staff member who had taken ill by summoning assistance and remaining on hand until staff arrived." This document references a "Mod. Order, log #99-50." If approved, plaintiff would have been awarded a 30-day sentence credit. A second level appeal response dated March 26, 2007, indicates that plaintiff requested "a sentence reduction under heroic acts." Plaintiff's grievance apparently was that a Director's Review Board (DRB) to address the request had not been established. The decision states:

. . . The Unit Classification Committee at Lancaster State Prison. . . referred the request to the Institutional Classification Committee . . . . The inmate was informed that this request would have to be revisited at his receiving main line institution as the inmate was currently in the Reception Center Process.

At the Second Formal Level of Review, the inmate was not satisfied and requests that his request be processed while he is [in the Reception Center]. . . .

The decision concluded that sentence reduction requests could not be processed at the Reception Center and that plaintiff's request would be processed once he was assigned to a "mainline" institution.

Also attached to the complaint is a November 30, 2007, order from the Lassen County Superior Court denying plaintiff's state court petition for writ of habeas corpus ...

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