On August 11, 2008, plaintiff commenced this action with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Dckt. Nos. 1, 5, 12. The court dismissed the petition because it failed to name the proper respondent. Dckt. No. 12. On April 28, 2009, plaintiff filed a document styled "petition for writ of mandate." Dckt. No. 13. It was not clear from this filing whether plaintiff was requesting habeas relief or pursuing relief for alleged civil rights violations. Therefore, the court directed plaintiff to inform the court whether he intends to challenge the fact or duration of his confinement or whether he seeks damages or other relief for alleged civil rights violations. Dckt. No. 14.
On July 14, 2009, plaintiff filed a complaint alleging his civil rights had been violated. Dckt. No. 15. He alleges in that complaint that various defendants violated his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and he requests damages and injunctive relief. Therefore, it appears that plaintiff wishes to proceed with this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and that the court enter judgment in his favor. Dckt. Nos. 18, 19.
I. Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
Plaintiff has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Dckt. No. 18. Plaintiff's application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court shall review "a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). "On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id. § 1915A(b).
A district court must construe a pro se pleading "liberally" to determine if it states a claim and, prior to dismissal, tell a plaintiff of deficiencies in his complaint and give plaintiff an opportunity to cure them. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000). While detailed factual allegations are not required, "[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 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.
Id. (citations and quotation marks omitted). Although legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations, and are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950.
The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: Every person who, under color of [state law]... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States... to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution... shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress....
42 U.S.C. § 1983. An individual defendant is not liable on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish the defendant's personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation or a causal connection between the defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged constitutional deprivation. See Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989); Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978).
The court has reviewed plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and finds it does not state a cognizable claim. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Penadilla racially profiled plaintiff, illegally questioned plaintiff, and illegally arrested plaintiff after falsely accusing plaintiff, who was on parole at the time, of being in possession of and being under the influence of marijuana. Plaintiff alleges he is falsely imprisoned as a result.
To state a § 1983 claim for violation of the Equal Protection clause, a plaintiff must show that he was treated in a manner inconsistent with others similarly situated, and the defendants acted with an intent or purpose to discriminate against the plaintiff based upon membership in a protected class. Thornton v. City of St. Helens, 425 F.3d 1158, 1166-67 (9th Cir. 2005).
Plaintiff merely alleges that he was a victim of racial profiling but does not allege facts showing intentional discrimination, or differential treatment of others similarly ...