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Raymond T. Estrada v. N. Grannis

December 22, 2010

RAYMOND T. ESTRADA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
N. GRANNIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Raymond T. Estrada ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently pending before the Court is the complaint, filed June 19, 2009. (Doc. 1.)

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 "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted," or that "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C § 1915(e)(2)(B).

In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court looks to the pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a), 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). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v.Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007)).

Under section 1983, 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). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

II. Complaint Allegations

Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is currently housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP"). Plaintiff was transferred from Salinas Valley State Prision ("SVSP") to PVSP on February 8, 2007. (Doc. 1, Comp., pp. 39, 80.) Upon arrival at PVSP, his boom box had been damaged and some property was missing. Defendant Hurl took his boom box because it was damaged. Defendant Mendez said that he would not have sent the property if it was broken. Defendants Hurl, Mendez, K. Nuckles, and Evans knew Plaintiff's property was missing and would not replace it. (Doc. 1, Comp. , p. 4.) Plaintiff filed grievances at each prison, which were screened out by Defendants N. Grannis, Medina, H, Martinez, and C. Hudson for being untimely filed. (Id., p. 5.) Plaintiff filed a writ of habeas corpus which was denied as being untimely. (Id., pp. 26-28.) Plaintiff asserted that the writ was untimely because he did not receive a response from the Government Claims Board, but a response from the Government Claims Board was not needed prior to filing the writ. (Id., p. 27.)

Plaintiff brings this action against Defendants N. Grannis, J. Hurl, H. Martinez, C. Hudson, M. Mendez, K. Nuckles, Warden Evans, and Appeals Coordinator Medina for violations of due process, access to the courts, and the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff is seeking replacement of his property or the monetary value of the property, and punitive damages.

For the reasons set forth below Plaintiff has failed to state a cognizable claim for relief. Plaintiff shall be given the opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies described by the Court in this order. In the paragraphs that follow, the Court will provide Plaintiff with the legal standards that appear to apply to his claims. Plaintiff should carefully review the standards and amend only those claims that he believes, in good faith, are cognizable.

III. Discussion

A. Fifth Amendment

1. Takings Clause

The Fifth Amendment provides that "private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation. The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment "limits the government's ability to confiscate property without paying for it," and "is designed to bar Government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole." Vance v. Barrett, 345 F.3d 1083, 1089 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal quotations and ...


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