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Gates v. Gonzales

September 23, 2009


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


Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Leon S. Gates, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this action on March 13, 2009. This action was transferred from the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division on March 19, 2009.

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 must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Id. at 1949.

II. Summary of Plaintiff's Claims

Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names Warden Gonzales, Assistant Warden C. Rouston, Captain M. Bryant, Correctional Counselor M. Maldonado, Correctional Sergeant J. C. Hughes, Correctional Lieutenant K. Prior, Correctional Counselor A. Castellon, Senior Medical Nurse S. Barker, Correctional Counselor M. Craven and Acting Chief Medical Officer Daniel as defendants.

Plaintiff states that he is physically disabled and that medical restrictions render him unable to perform work assignments. Plaintiff states that although he is medically unassigned, he was forced to participate in a SAP program. When he failed to report to program, Plaintiff received a Rules Violation Report, and was written up three times. Plaintiff states that his privilege group was reduced and that his electronic appliances were confiscated, in contravention of various prison regulations and a Director's Rule.

Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as violations of the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Plaintiff seeks equitable relief and money damages. Namely, Plaintiff seeks an order directing defendants to stop harassing and retaliating against him, the restoration of his privilege group status, the return of his confiscated property, and an order directing that Plaintiff not be housed in the gym due to his serious medical problems.

A. Linkage Requirement and Supervisory Liability

Under section 1983, Plaintiff is required to show that (1) each defendant acted under color of state law and (2) each defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal law. Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006). Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

Plaintiff has named ten defendants but has not linked each defendant with some affirmative act or omission that demonstrates a violation of plaintiff's federal rights. Plaintiff must provide a short and plain statement explaining what each defendant did, and how these act(s) or omission(s) of each defendant led of a violation of Plaintiff's federal rights. Plaintiff cannot simply provide a chronology of events without explaining how each defendant was involved.

Plaintiff also attaches approximately forty-five pages of exhibits to his complaint. Although exhibits are permissible if incorporated by reference, Plaintiff is still responsible for providing a short and plain statement of his claims. The Court will ...

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