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Rideau v. Minnick

October 26, 2009

GREGORY SYLVESTER RIDEAU, JR., CDCR #K-32522, PLAINTIFF,
v.
L. MINNICK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz United States District Judge

ORDER SUA SPONTE DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b)

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 17, 2009, Plaintiff, Gregory Sylvester Rideau, Jr., a state inmate currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison and proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court could conduct its sua sponte screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b), Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). The Court dismissed Plaintiff's FAC on August 6, 2009 but permitted him leave to file a Second Amended Complaint in order to correct the deficiencies of pleading identified by the Court. See August 6, 2009 Order at 7-8. On September 8, 2009, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint ("SAC").

II. SUA SPONTE SCREENING PER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A

A. Standard

As the Court stated in its previous Order, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA") obligates the Court to review complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP and by those, like Plaintiff, who are "incarcerated or detained in any facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program," "as soon as practicable after docketing." See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). Under these provisions, the Court must sua sponte dismiss any IFP or prisoner complaint, or any portion thereof, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim, or which seeks damages from defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (§ 1915(e)(2)); Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 446 (9th Cir. 2000) (§ 1915A).

As currently pleaded, the Court finds that Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 imposes two essential proof requirements upon a claimant: (1) that a person acting under color of state law committed the conduct at issue, and (2) that the conduct deprived the claimant of some right, privilege, or immunity protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Nelson v. Campbell, 541 U.S. 637, 124 S.Ct. 2117, 2122 (2004); Haygood v. Younger, 769 F.2d 1350, 1354 (9th Cir. 1985) (en banc).

A. Equal Protection Claims

Plaintiff was sentenced to a term of life without the possibility of parole on December 4, 1996. (See SAC at 4-5, 8.) At the time of sentencing, a restitution fine was imposed on Plaintiff. pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 1202.4(b). This restitution fine was to be collected in a manner set forth by Cal. Pen. Code § 2085.5(a) which provides, in part, that:

"the Director of Corrections shall deduct a minimum of 20 percent or the balance owing on the fine amount, whichever is less, up to a maximum of 50 percent from the wages and trust account deposits of a prisoner, unless prohibited by federal law, and shall transfer that amount to the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board for deposit in the Restitution Fund in the State Treasury."

Cal. Pen. Code § 2085.5(a)

The California Penal Code requires that money is to be garnished from "the wages and trust account deposits" of an inmate. Id. As he did in his previous pleading, Plaintiff objects to garnishment of monies obtained and deposited into his inmate trust account from family members. (See SAC at 8.) Initially, California Penal Code § 2085.5 only provided for garnishment of inmate wages but this code section was amended in 1992 to also allow for garnishments of other types of deposits into an inmate's trust account. See Quarles v. Kane, 482 F.3d 1154, 1155 (9th Cir. 2007).

The statute clearly provides for garnishment from wages and "trust account deposits" which would include money that Plaintiff receives from family members. Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations ...


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