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Kevin E. Fields v. B. Vikjord

September 12, 2011

KEVIN E. FIELDS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
B. VIKJORD, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING CLAIMS AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM (ECF No. 13)

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On October 8, 2009, Plaintiff Kevin E. Fields, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 4.)

Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 1) was screened and dismissed, with leave to amend, on December 8, 2010. (ECF No. 12.) Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint, filed December 20, 2010, is now before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 13.)

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, malicious," or 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).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

The First Amended Complaint alleges the following correctional officers conspired to violate Plaintiff's First Amendment rights: B. Vikjord, A. Covert, R. Magvas, and K. Foley.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

On November 13, 2008, the Defendants conspired to delay Plaintiff's return from the yard so that Defendants Vikjord and Covert had time to conduct a retaliatory search of Plaintiff's cell. (Compl. at 2 and 3.) During the search, Defendants Vikjord and Covert removed thousands of pages of legal documents that had been separated by legal matter and shuffled them out of order. Defendants Vikjord and Covert also damaged Plaintiff's legal textbooks and confiscated legal "notes, records, transcripts, declarations from inmates and other exhibits . . . ." Various personal items were also confiscated. (Id. at 3.)

After the search, "Defendants Vikjord and Covert sent [Plaintiff] a [rules violation notice], and property cell search slip alleging that they confiscated an altered television from [Plaintiff's] assigned cell." Plaintiff maintains that his television was unaltered. (Id. at 3, 4.)

Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants conducted the retaliatory search because Plaintiff had filed administrative appeals and lawsuits against prison officials and staff. Plaintiff alleges that the aforementioned conspiracy had a chilling effect on his First Amendment rights and furthered no legitimate ...


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