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Desha M. Carter v. A Claim

February 9, 2011

DESHA M. CARTER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
A CLAIM N. GRANNIS, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



ECF No. 1

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Desha M. Carter ("Plaintiff") is a former 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 January 8, 2010. (Compl., ECF No. 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 brings this action naming Defendants N. Grannis, K. Allison, K. Morgan, Garza, and Quinones alleging that he was placed in segregated housing without due process. (Compl. 3-4, ECF No. 1.) He is seeking unspecified declaratory and injunctive relief and monetary damages. (Id. at4.)

Plaintiff claims he was wrongfully placed in administrative segregation without due process or the opportunity to call witnesses. The complaint alleges that Defendant Allison failed to provide Plaintiff with a "1030 form," failed to instruct staff to provide Plaintiff with his Due Process rights, and approved his indefinite placement in administrative segregation. Defendant Morgan failed to interview Plaintiff so he could challenge the charges against him and falsified documents resulting in Plaintiff's wrongful placement. Defendant Quinones approved incomplete reports and processed them even though Plaintiff did not receive due process. Defendant Garza was aware of "the policy" yet refused to record Plaintiff's statement, accept his written objections, and failed to provide a copy so Plaintiff could correct any misinterpretation. (Id.)

While Plaintiff's complaint is considered under a liberal pleading standard, his vague allegations such as awareness of "the policy" and failure to provide "a copy" are insufficient to state a plausible claim that his constitutional rights were violated. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. Although named in the complaint, the factual allegations fail to include any mention of Defendant Grannis. 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. Legal Standards

A. Linkage Requirement

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, 297 F.3d at 934. There is no respondeat superior liability under ...


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