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Villanueva v. Sisto

March 11, 2009

JOSE VILLANUEVA, PLAINTIFF (ELECT),
v.
WARDEN D.K. SISTO, ASSOCIATE WARDEN'S SINGH, RODRIGUEZ CAPT. S. PECK, LT'S SORIOANO, WONG, FERGUSON, R. BENDER, CHIRILLA, SGT'S DURFEY, GOOD, MARTINEZ, BROOM, E. MAJOR, BESS, C/O'S 1-50, "FREE STAFF' DOES 1-25, SGT'S CUMMINS, BROOM, R. MITCHELL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edward F. Shea United States District Judge

ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT

Before the Court is pro se state prisoner Plaintiff Jose Villanueva's Complaint, alleging various constitutional violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Ct. Rec. 1.) Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, claims that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and claims that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief are properly dismissed. Id.

§§ 1915A(b)(1), (2) & 1915(e)(2). After review, the Court finds an amended complaint is required. The reasons for the Court's Order are set forth below.

The Court understands Plaintiff to be bringing a class action alleging violations of the Fourteenth Amendment due process and Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment clauses based on Defendants' failure to (1) provide procedures, including a psychiatric evaluation and investigative assistance, guaranteed by the Coleman Plan and (2) provide interpreters during the disciplinary process. Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of the identified class -Mexican National prisoners and prisoners receiving CCCMS care at CSP Solano in Vacaville, California.

Section 1983 creates a case of action for the "deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and the law" of the United States. Establishing a section 1983 action requires a plaintiff to show: (1) a person acting under color of state law (2) committed an act that (3) deprived the claimant (4) of a federally-protected right. Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 632-33 (9th Cir. 1988). A person deprives another of a federally-protected right "if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which [the plaintiff complains]." Redman v. County of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435, 1439 (9th Cir. 1991) (brackets in the original).

A plaintiff's section 1983 complaint must set forth specific facts demonstrating how the named defendants caused or personally participated in depriving the plaintiff of his or her protected rights. Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981); Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). It is important to remember, however, that pro se plaintiffs are held "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 519-20 (1972). Courts must construe pleadings liberally and afford pro se plaintiffs any benefit of the doubt. Jackson v. Carey, 353 F.3d 750, 757 (9th Cir. 2003).

Here, even viewing Plaintiff's complaint liberally, it fails to set forth cognizable section 1983 claims against the named Defendants. The Court notes two (2) problems with Plaintiff's complaint.

First, the complaint fails to clearly identify an act by each Defendant that deprived Plaintiff and the purported class of a federally-protected right. C.f. Hamilton v. Endell, 981 F.2d 1062, 1067 (9th Cir. 1992); Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982); Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981); Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). The complaint contains general allegations of wrongdoings and deprivations, however, these allegations are not tied to a specific Defendant.

Second, the Court finds the complaint fails to clearly set forth facts to plausibly support a section 1983 claim. See Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). The complaint's factual allegations are confusing, vague, and conclusory. In addition, the complaint must set forth facts to support a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) finding.

In sum, Plaintiff's complaint is deficient. When deficiencies in the complaint exist, a pro se litigant must be given an opportunity to amend his complaint unless it is absolutely clear that the deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1128 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Accordingly, Plaintiff may submit an amended complaint within sixty (60) days of the date of this Order. The amended complaint shall:

1. be legibly rewritten or retyped in its entirety;

2. be an original and not a copy and may not incorporate any part of the original complaint by reference;

3. be a single document; 4. be clearly labeled "First Amended Complaint" and cause number CV-08-860-EFS must be written in the caption. The first amended complaint will operate as a complete substitute for -rather than a supplement to - the present complaint;

5. contain a section titled: Parties. This section shall identify all the defendants who caused the alleged deprivation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. If Plaintiff names individuals, he shall identity that he is ...


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