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Davis v. Walker

April 20, 2010

KENNARD LEE DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES WALKER; N. GRANNIS; S. FLORY; REYES; TENNISION; RIOS; I. O'BRAIN; R. CARTER; DA ROSA; R. PENNINGTON; GOODRICH; A. NANGALAMA; EDMONSON; D. BAUGHMAN; S. DAVEY; B. DONAHOO; T. SNYDER; L. JOHNSON; K.J. ALLEN; TROY BRIMHALL; JASDEEP BAL; V. DUC; V. O'SHAUGHNESSY; AND P. VAN COR, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Helen Gillmor United States District Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT (DOC. 1) WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

Plaintiff Kennard Lee Davis filed this prisoner civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. He alleges that while incarcerated at California State Prison, Sacramento, Defendant prison officials destroyed his legal documents; prevented him from receiving legal documents; used excessive force against him; denied him adequate medical care; and retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), with leave to amend.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 17, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Complaint, (Doc. 1), and an Application To Proceed In Forma Pauperis, (Doc. 2).

On January 23, 2009, the Court filed an Order Granting Plaintiff's Application For Leave To Proceed In Forma Pauperis And Directing Collection Of Filing Fee. (Doc. 6.)

STATUTORY SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT

Federal district courts are required to screen cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or its officers or employees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss the complaint if the plaintiff raises claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim on 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) and (2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

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 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. Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.

A claim fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted if it appears that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him to relief. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984); Palmer v. Roosevelt Lake Log Owners Ass'n, Inc., 651 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1981).

During screening, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint, Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Tr., 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); Bernhardt v. L.A. County, 339 F.3d 920, 925 (9th Cir. 2003) (the court must construe pro se pleadings liberally and afford the pro se litigant the benefit of any doubt). The court is not required to accept as true, however, the plaintiff's conclusory allegations, unreasonable inferences, or unwarranted deductions of fact. Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981).

If the court determines that a pleading could be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc); Lucas v. Dep't. of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995). A district court should not, however, advise the litigant on how to cure the defects. Such advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13.

ANALYSIS

To sustain an action under section 1983, a plaintiff must show: "(1) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; and (2) that the conduct deprived the plaintiff of a federal constitutional or statutory right." Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 987 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted); West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Mere allegations that a right secured by a state law has been violated do not satisfy the first element of a claim under § 1983. Lovell v. Poway Unified School District, 90 F.3d 367, 370-71 (9th Cir. 1996).

Plaintiff filed this prisoner civil rights action on March 17, 2008. (Complaint, (Doc. 1).) He alleges that while incarcerated at California State Prison, Sacramento, Defendant prison officials destroyed his legal documents; prevented him from receiving legal documents; used excessive force against him; denied him adequate medical care; and retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

A. Plaintiff's Claims Relating To His Legal Documents

1. Plaintiff's Claims Relating To The Alleged Destruction Of Legal Documents Are Dismissed, With Leave To Amend

Plaintiff alleges that on January 19, 2007, Defendants Flory and Da Rosa confiscated and destroyed his personal property, which included legal documents. (Complaint at p. 1.) He claims that by destroying these legal ...


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