Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Joaquin Jay, Ii v. Sgt. Lara

March 16, 2011

JOAQUIN JAY, II,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SGT. LARA, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

(Doc. 1)

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN 30 DAYS

Plaintiff Joaquin Jay, II ("Plaintiff") is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was incarcerated at Fresno County Jail at the time of the events described in his complaint. Plaintiff names Sergeant Lara, Lieutenant Vega, and Lieutenant Porter as defendants ("Defendants"). For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff's complaint fails to state any cognizable claims. The Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint, with leave to file an amended complaint which cures the deficiencies identified in this order.

I. Screening Requirement

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). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used 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. 544, 555 (2007)). "[A] complaint must contain 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] 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.'" Id. (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. Id. "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. Background

Plaintiff alleges that on two separate occasions, "the investigative employee[sic] of Fresno County Jail discriminated against [Plaintiff] by failing to provide/and or/conduct a complete -unbiasd[sic] and timely investigation." (Compl. 5, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff filed complaints against jail staff for misconduct on December 27, 2009 and March 14, 2010. Plaintiff does not describe the misconduct at issue in his complaints. Plaintiff alleges that "investigative staff faild[sic]/and or/refused to question witnesses[sic] [Plaintiff] put in the complaint" and "investigative staff faild[sic]/and or/refused to take immediate action and iniciate[sic] an investigation regarding [Plaintiff's] complaint against C/O P-Vang for misconduct." (Compl. 5, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff claims that the investigative procedure is biased and Plaintiff is being discriminated against "because [Plaintiff is] an inmate." (Compl. 6, ECF No. 1.)

III. Discussion

Plaintiff does not identify what the individuals named as defendants in this action did or failed to do to violate Plaintiff's rights. Plaintiff names Sergeant Lara, Lieutenant Vega, and Lieutenant Porter as defendants but does not identify anything these individuals did or failed to do.*fn1

Plaintiff does not identify what specific rights were violated by Defendants' conduct. The Court will analyze Plaintiff's complaint as raising claims under the Equal Protection Clause because Plaintiff alleges that he was discriminated against. The Court will also liberally construe Plaintiff's complaint as raising claims under the Due Process Clause.

A. Equal Protection Claims

Plaintiff claims that prison officials at Fresno County Jail failed to investigate his complaints because they were discriminating against him based on his status as an inmate. The Equal Protection Clause requires that persons who are similarly situated be treated alike. City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). A plaintiff may establish an equal protection claim by showing that the plaintiff was intentionally discriminated against on the basis of the plaintiff's membership in a protected class. See, e.g., Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 686 (9th Cir.2001). Under this theory of equal protection, the plaintiff must show that the defendants' actions were a result of the plaintiff's membership in a suspect class, such as race. Thornton v. City of St. Helens, 425 F.3d 1158, 1167 (9th Cir.2005).

If the action in question does not involve a suspect classification, a plaintiff may establish an equal protection claim by showing that similarly situated individuals were intentionally treated differently without a rational relationship to a legitimate state purpose. Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000); San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1972); Squaw Valley Development Co. v. Goldberg, 375 F.3d 936, 944 (9th Cir.2004); SeaRiver Mar. Fin. Holdings, Inc. v. Mineta, 309 F.3d 662, 679 (9th Cir.2002). To state an equal protection claim under this theory, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) the plaintiff is a member of an identifiable class; (2) the plaintiff ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.