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Carter v. Holliman

February 3, 2009

BRIAN JOHN CARTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
B. HOLLIMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED

(Doc. 14)

I. Screening Order

Plaintiff Brian John Carter ("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 his original complaint on June 21, 2007. (Doc. 1.) On March 25, 2008, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's Amended Complaint with leave to amend. (Doc. 10.) On May 16, 2008, after receiving an extension of time, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint. (Doc. 14.) Plaintiff's first amended complaint is presently before the Court for screening. Plaintiff consented to jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge. (Doc. 5.)

A. Screening Standard

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 apply 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)).

B. Summary of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff is currently a state prisoner at Avenal State Prison in Avenal, California. Plaintiff was formerly imprisoned at California Correctional Institution ("CCI") at Tehachapi, California, where the acts he complains of occurred. Plaintiff names as defendants Correctional Officer ("C/O") B. Holliman; Lieutenants Lundy, Cox, G. Heartgrove; and J. W. Sullivan.

Plaintiff's complaint alleges the following. On May 8, 2006, C/O Holliman discovered a manufactured weapon taped to the underside of Plaintiff's bed. The Institutional Security Unit failed to do the investigation. (Doc. 14, p. 3.) C/O Holliman notified Lieutenant Lundy, who also failed to have ISU investigate the incident. Lieutenant Cox conducted an administrative review. (Id., p. 4.) On June 7, 2006, Lieutenant Heartgrove held a disciplinary hearing as to the weapon charge. Plaintiff was charged with unauthorized possession of a material altered from its original state or purpose and made into a weapon. (Id., p. 5.) Plaintiff was sentenced to administrative segregation.

Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against all defendants.

C. Plaintiff's Claims

1. Linkage Requirement

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was ...


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