IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 1, 2009
MELVIN DE VAN DANIEL, PLAINTIFF,
B. OAKS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
Plaintiff is proceeding in this action pro se and in forma pauperis. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 72-302(c)(21).
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).
A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
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. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); 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 Hosp. 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).
Plaintiff's amended complaint refers to various different people, but he specifically alleges defendants Oaks, Molthen and Garcia violated his constitutional rights by using excessive force on March 6, 2008. The amended complaint states a cognizable claim for relief as to defendants Oaks, Molthen and Garcia. If the allegations of the amended complaint are proven, plaintiff has a reasonable opportunity to prevail on the merits of this action.
In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The Clerk of the Court shall send plaintiff three USM-285 forms, one summons, an instruction sheet and a copy of the amended complaint filed March 16, 2009 (docket no. 9).
2. Within thirty days from the date of this order, plaintiff shall complete the attached Notice of Submission of Documents and submit the completed Notice to the court with the following documents:
a. One completed summons;
b. One completed USM-285 form for each defendant named above; and
c. Three copies of the endorsed amended complaint filed March 16, 2009.
3. Plaintiff need not attempt service on defendants and need not request waiver of service. Upon receipt of the above-described documents, the court will direct the United States Marshal to serve the above-named defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4 without prepayment of costs.
4. Failure to comply with this order may result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed.
NOTICE OF SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS
Plaintiff hereby submits the following documents in compliance with the court's order filed
completed summons form
completed USM-285 forms
copies of the amended complaint
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