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Steven J. Willett v. California Department of Mental Health

August 22, 2011

STEVEN J. WILLETT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Steven J. Willett ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee being detained at Coalinga State Hospital and is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on March 17, 2011 and consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on March 30, 2011. (ECF Nos. 1 & 5.) No other parties have appeared.

Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

Where a detainee or prisoner seeks relief against "a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity," the Court is required to review the complaint and identify "cognizable claims." 28 U.S.C § 1915(a)-(b). The Court must dismiss a complaint, or portion of the complaint, if it is "frivolous, malicious or 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. § 1915A(b); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A claim is frivolous "when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). In determining malice, the Court examines whether the claims are pled in good faith. Kinney v. Plymouth Rock Squab. Co., 236 U.S. 43, 46 (1915).

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 (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 conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff brings this action for violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants: California Department of Mental Health, Liberty Health Care, Kym Cudle, Allen Stillman, and Cynthia Radavsky.

Plaintiff alleges as follows: On May 19, 2010, Plaintiff was taken into custody by Defendant Cudle. In accordance with the contract Plaintiff signed with Defendant Liberty, if Plaintiff was returned to the custody of the Department of Mental Health, he was allowed to bring with him whatever personal property he wanted. However, Defendant Cudle would not allow Plaintiff to retrieve any of his property nor would they pack it for him. Defendant Cudle informed Plaintiff that his property would be secure for thirty days, so Plaintiff could make arrangements for someone to take it.

Defendant Stillman informed a court that he would see to it that Plaintiff received his property. In July 2010, Plaintiff began receiving his property. After receiving the third box in August, Plaintiff was told that he would not be receiving any more. Plaintiff informed Defendant Cudle who found out that the property had either been thrown away or given away.

Plaintiff seeks punitive damages, declaratory and injunctive relief.

IV. ...


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