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Matthew Alan Lawrie v. State of California; Vista Superior Court; Jerry Brown

July 13, 2011

MATTHEW ALAN LAWRIE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA; VISTA SUPERIOR COURT; JERRY BROWN; KAMALA HARRIS; AND KATHLEEN ALLISON,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Matthew Lawrie, ("Plaintiff"), a state prisoner, appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the instant complaint on April 4, 2011. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff alleges that mail he sent to a San Diego County Superior Court, Central Division was sent to the "Vista Superior Court" because the "Vista Superior Court" is attempting to control the delivery of his mail. Plaintiff files this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. Plaintiff names the State of California, the "Vista Superior Court of California;" *fn1 Jerry Brown, Governor of the State of California; Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of the State of California; and Kathleen Allison, Warden of the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison as Defendants ("Defendants). The Court has screened the complaint and recommends that the complaint be dismissed without leave to amend.

DISCUSSION

A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court must conduct an initial review of the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the court determines that the action is legally "frivolous or malicious," fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment.

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). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[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, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Id. at 1949.

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. See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984), citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also 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. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff alleges that mail he addressed to the San Diego County Superior Court, Central Division ("San Diego Court" of "Central Division"), was sent to the wrong address. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that the San Diego County Superior Court, Northern Division, located in Vista, California ("Vista Court" or "Vista Division"), is attempting to reroute his mail because Plaintiff has filed complaints to the Commission on Judicial Performance regarding judges located within the Vista Division. Plaintiff has attached correspondence mailed to the court and argues that the Vista Division responded to correspondence he sent to a Judge Harry Powazek located in the Central Division. In support of his argument, he relies upon the fact that he sent the correspondence to the San Diego Court listing a zip code of 92112, but received correspondence from the Vista Court with a zip code of 92083. As a result of the above, Plaintiff seeks $1,000,000.00 in monetary damages.

C. Analysis of Plaintiff's Claims

1. Rule 8(a)

As Rule 8(a) states, a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim." The rule expresses the principle of notice-pleading, whereby the pleader need only give the opposing party fair notice of a claim. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Rule 8(a) does not require an elaborate recitation of every fact a plaintiff may ultimately rely upon at trial, but only a statement sufficient to "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Id. at 47.

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). The mere possibility of ...


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