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Gonzales v. Fresura

December 15, 2008

MICHAEL GONZALES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FRESURA, ET. AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 1)

I. SCREENING ORDER

Michael Gonzales ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff filed his complaint on April 12, 2007 -- which is presently before the Court for screening.

A. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it appears beyond doubt that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984), citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also Palmer v. Roosevelt Lake Log Owners Ass'n, 651 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1981). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hospital Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

B. Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint

At the time of the issues complained of in his complaint, Plaintiff was a state prisoner at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison ("SATF") in Corcoran, California.

Plaintiff names defendants Correctional Officers K. Fresura, Vikjord, Price, Castro, Weaver, Mallory, F. Yamat, J. Munoz, and A. Perez.

Plaintiff alleges that K. Fresura, Vikjord, Price, Castro, Weaver, Mallory, and A. Perez medicate his food and then tease him about it. Plaintiff also alleges that K. Fresura, Vikjord, Price, and Castro have completely stopped his mail. Plaintiff further generally alleges that he was retaliated against for "exercising" his "civil rights."

Plaintiff seeks relief by way of injunction and monetary damages.

Plaintiff may be able to amend to correct deficiencies in his pleading so as to state additional cognizable claims. Plaintiff merely states factual allegations, without delineating which of his constitutional rights he feels have been violated. Thus, he is being given the applicable standards based on his factual allegations. If Plaintiff intended to raise any constitutional violations, other than as discussed herein, he should endeavor to specifically state as much if he chooses to file an amended complaint -- which he is hereby given leave to do.

C. Pleading Requirements

1. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a)

"The controlling principle appears in Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a) 'A party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join, either as independent or as alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has against an opposing party.' Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits, not only to prevent the sort of morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit produce[s], but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees-for the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)." George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).

Plaintiff's complaint is ambiguous as to whether his claims that the officers are medicating his food are related to the other issues raised. Plaintiff's claims against J. Munoz and F. Yamat for failing to make copies for him are clearly not related to any of the other allegations stated in the complaint. Plaintiff should only bring related claims in this action. Plaintiff is advised that if he chooses to file an amended complaint, and fails to comply with Rule 18(a), the Court will count all ...


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