Plaintiff is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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 fail to state a claim upon 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),(2).
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, therefore, 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. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
A complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); Palmer v. Roosevelt Lake Log Owners Ass'n, 651 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1981). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trustees, 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).
Plaintiff brings this suit pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff alleges that while being transported in a bus from a federal correctional institute in Herlong, California to one in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, his handcuffs were too tight, the bus ride took approximately 50 hours, certain guards uttered racial slurs and smoked on the bus, and the bus drivers were speeding. Plaintiff claims he complained repeatedly of the pain caused by the handcuffs to guards, though only Lt. Shank is identified. Plaintiff alleges he suffered mental and physical exhaustion, as well as swelling, pain and loss of blood circulation in his hands, wrists and ankles.
To state a private cause of action under Bivens and its progeny, plaintiff must allege: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a federal actor. Van Strum v. Lawn, 940 F.2d 406, 409 (9th Cir. 1991) (§ 1983 and Bivens actions are identical save for the replacement of a state actor under § 1983 by a federal actor under Bivens).*fn1 Here, plaintiff's complaint fails as to all defendants but Shank and as to all claims but plaintiff's allegation that he was injured due to handcuffs that were placed too tightly. See Smith v. Yarborough, 2008 WL 4877464 (C.D. Cal. 2008).
At this juncture, plaintiff may proceed in one of two ways. First, plaintiff may elect to serve the complaint and proceed only on those claims found cognizable by the court in this order. Second, plaintiff may file an amended complaint, attempting to cure the deficiencies identified by the court in this order. See Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1127 ("[A] district court should grant leave to amend . . . unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.") (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). If plaintiff elects to file an amended complaint, he is cautioned that he may not change the nature of this suit by adding new and unrelated claims. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (no "buckshot" complaints). Plaintiff is also advised that once he files his amended complaint, his original pleadings are superceded and no longer serve any function in the case. See Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d 55, 57 (9th Cir. 1967). Thus, the amended complaint must be "complete in itself without reference to the prior or superceded pleading." Local Rule 220. "All causes of action alleged in an original complaint which are not [re-]alleged in an amended complaint are waived." King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted).
In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.
2. Plaintiff is obligated to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). All fees shall be collected and paid in accordance with this court's order to the Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation filed concurrently herewith.
3. If plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint, plaintiff shall complete the attached Notice of Amendment and submit the following documents to the court ...