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Thomas J. Gabba v. Arnold Schwarzenegger

August 2, 2011

THOMAS J. GABBA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983 (Doc. 1)

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (Doc. 12)

THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff Thomas J. Gabba ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee involuntarily committed pursuant to California's Sexually Violent Predator Act ("SVPA"), Cal. Welf, & Inst. Code § 6600, et seq., and is proceeding in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this action. On March 9, 2010, Plaintiff filed the original complaint which is presently before this Court. (Doc. 1). On October 14, 2010, Plaintiff filed a motion for injunctive relief. (Doc. 12).

II. 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).

'Under § 1915A, when determining whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.' Hamilton v. Brown, 630 F.3d 889. 892-93 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Resnick v. Warden Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir.2000). 'Additionally, in general, courts must construe pro se pleadings liberally.' Id. A complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted "if it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations." See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); see also Synagogue v. United States, 482 F.3d 1058, 1060 (9th Cir. 2007); NL Industries, Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). In determining whether to dismiss an action, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, and 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, 421-22 (1969); Daniels-Hall v. National Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010).

III. Plaintiff's Complaint

A. Summary of Allegations

Plaintiff is a civil detainee involuntarily committed pursuant to California's SVPA and is currently detained at Coalinga State Hospital ("CSH")) in Coalinga, California. In 2009, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) passed an emergency regulation which prohibited possession of various electronic devices with the capability to connect to a wired and/or wireless communications network.*fn1 Cal. Code Regs., tit. 9 § 4350 (2010). Plaintiff does not allege what property he owns that is subject to the regulation.

In the complaint, Plaintiff names former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services S. Kimberly Belshe, former Director of the California Department of Mental Health Stephen Mayberg and Executive Director of Coalinga State Hospital Pam Ahlin ("Defendants") in their official capacities as defendants in this action. Plaintiff seeks damages and injunctive relief to prevent the Department of Mental Health from enforcing the new regulation which will lead to the confiscation of electronics such as computers and game systems from all the patients. (Doc. 1 at 3).

B. Case or Controversy Requirement

"[T]hose who seek to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts must satisfy the threshold requirement imposed by Article III of the Constitution by alleging an actual case or controversy." City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 1665 (1983) (citations omitted); Human Life of Washington Inc. v. Brumsickle, 624 F.3d 990, 1000 (9th Cir. 2010); Chandler v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co., 598 F.2d 1115, 1121-22 (9th Cir. 2010). This requires Plaintiff to demonstrate that he has standing to sue by showing (1) an injury-in-fact, (2) causation, and (3) a likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a decision in his favor. Human Life of Washington Inc., 624 F.3d at 1000 (citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560, 112 S.Ct. 2130 (1992)) (quotation marks omitted). Related to standing is the doctrine of ripeness, which precludes from consideration injuries that are speculative and may never occur. Chandler, ...


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