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Garcia-Mejia v. Gilkey

January 13, 2009

OSCAR HUMBERTO GARCIA-MEJIA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GILKEY, 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. 17)

Oscar Humberto Garcia-Mejia ("Plaintiff") is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil action. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), which provides a remedy for violation of civil rights by federal actors.

Plaintiff initially filed the instant action on May 29, 2007. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on August 27, 2007. (Doc. 12.) On October 10, 2007, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint, which is now before the Court for screening. (Doc. 17.)

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

The latest information this Court has is that Plaintiff is a federal prisoner currently in custody at the Federal Detention Center in Oakdale, Louisiana. However, Plaintiff's claims are before this Court as they involve allegations which occurred at California Institute California City ("CICC"). Plaintiff names twenty seven (27) defendants.

The Court notes that a number of Plaintiff's claims in this case are identical to those raised and screened in a separate action Plaintiff filed in this district -- Garcia-Mejia v. Gilkey, et al. 1:07-cv-915-OWW-GSA (PC) ("07-cv-915"). This Court issued a detailed screening order in 07-cv-915 wherein Plaintiff's related claims were allowed to proceed and a number of Plaintiff's claims were dismissed without prejudice as unrelated and in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a). "Plaintiffs generally have 'no right to maintain two separate actions involving the same subject matter at the same time in the same court and against the same defendant.'" Adams v. California Dept. of Health Services, 487 F.3d 684, 688 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Walton v. Eaton Corp., 563 F.2d 66, 70 (3d Cir.1 1977)(en banc)). "[A] suit is duplicative if the claims, parties, and available relief do not significantly differ between the two actions." Id. at 689. Further, ". . . 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." George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).

Plaintiff states some allegations in this action that are identical to those raised in 07-915. The Court has selected one set of Plaintiff's allegations in this action that do not appear to be related and/or identical to his allegations which were addressed in the screening order in 07-915.

Plaintiff is advised that, he will be given opportunity to file an amended complaint wherein he may clarify any basis upon which he believes that various of his claims in the present action are not identical to those raised in 07-cv-915. However, he is strongly cautioned that any claims in a second amended complaint in this case, that are found to be identical to those raised in 07-cv-915, and not found to meet the requirements of Rule 18(a) in this action, will be dismissed and will be counted as strikes such that he may be barred from filing in forma pauperis in the future. Plaintiff's allegations regarding restrictions on his visitation rights, in this case, appear to be related. Thus, the Court screens Plaintiff's factual allegations regarding restrictions on his visitation rights.

Plaintiff does not delineate which of his constitutional rights he feels have been violated. Rather, he presents his "Statement of Claims" as a series of events detailing multiple interactions with multiple prison staff on various issues. It is difficult at best to decipher which of his rights under the U.S. Constitution Plaintiff contends were violated. The manner in which Plaintiff words his complaint also makes it very difficult for the Court to ascertain which facts and surnamed prison staff are included for allegation purposes versus contextual background.

C. Pleading Requirements

1. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 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. Pro. 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." ...


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