The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983
OBJECTION DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS
Findings and Recommendations Following Screening of Amended Complaint
Plaintiff Richard W. Williams, Jr. ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on April 11, 2007. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend for failure to state a claim on December 2, 2008. Plaintiff filed his amended complaint on December 18, 2008.
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)).
Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when Sergeant M. Pallares and Captain D. Chendaniel ("Defendants") restricted Plaintiff from receiving a marriage packet while he was housed in administrative segregation. He filed an inmate appeal which was denied on January 9, 2007. He appealed to the second level, and the appeal was granted on February 20, 2007, because he had already been released from administrative segregation to the general population on February 15, 2007, and was then eligible to receive a marriage packet. Plaintiff brings this suit against Defendants for the temporary restriction on his right to marry.
Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, which requires that persons who are similarly situated be treated alike. City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). An equal protection claim may be established in two ways. First, a plaintiff establishes an equal protection claim by showing that the defendant has intentionally discriminated on the basis of the plaintiff's membership in a protected class. See, e.g., Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 686 (9th Cir. 2001). Under this theory, the plaintiff must show that the defendant's actions were a result of the plaintiff's membership in a protected class, such as race. Thorton v. City of St. Helens, 425 F.3d 1158, 1167 (9th Cir. 2005).
The second way to establish an equal protection claim is for the plaintiff to show that similarly situated individuals were intentionally treated differently without a rational relationship to a legitimate state purpose. Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000); San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1972); Squaw Valley Development Co. V. Goldberg, 375 F.3d 936, 944 (9th Cir. 2002); SeaRiver Mar. Fin. Holdings, Inc., Mineta, 309 F.3d 662, 679 (9th Cir. 2002). To state an equal protection claim under this theory, the plaintiff must allege that: (1) the plaintiff is a member of an identifiable class; (2) the plaintiff was intentionally treated differently from others similarly situated; and (3) there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment. Village of Willowbrook, 528 U.S. at 564. If an equal protection claim is based upon the defendant's ...