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McAllister v. Gunja

January 12, 2009

JOHN I. MCALLISTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
J E GUNJA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Wunderlich United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO EITHER FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT OR NOTIFY COURT OF WILLINGNESS TO PROCEED ONLY ON CLAIMS FOUND TO BE COGNIZABLE (Doc. 1) RESPONSE DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

Plaintiff John I. McAllister ("Plaintiff") is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999 (1971), which provides a remedy for violations of civil rights by federal actors.

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).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard... applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

II. Plaintiff's Claims

A. Summary of Complaint

Plaintiff was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California ("Atwater") at the time the events in his complaint occurred. Plaintiff names the following parties as defendants:

J. E. Gunja-Western Regional Director of the division of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Paul M. Schultz-Warden

A. Booth-Associate Warden of Operations

C. Gant-Associate Warden of Industries, Education and Recreation

J. Jusino-Director of Recreation

L. Smith-Safety Officer

L. Martin-manager of CMS

McCarty-Shop-Foreman of CMS Gordon-Work Crew Correctional Officer

R. Boister-Work Crew Correctional Officer

R. Brown-Case Manager

Federal Bureau of Prisons The incident described in the complaint took place on February 14, 2004. Plaintiff was walking down a walkway near the prison's softball field. Plaintiff was struck by a softball that flew over the fence and into the walkway. The impact of the softball caused Plaintiff's sunglasses to shatter causing serious injuries to ...


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