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Francis W. Davis v. Lloyd

December 21, 2011

FRANCIS W. DAVIS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
LLOYD, ET. AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1) OBJECTIONS DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

Plaintiff Francis W. Davis ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff initiated this action on March 19, 2010. (ECF No. 1.) No other parties have appeared. Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable claim.

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).

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, ____ U.S. ____, ____, 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). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.

II. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison, the same prison where the events at issue in the Complaint occurred. Plaintiff brings this action for violations of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and his rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff also brings a claim for failure properly to train prison staff.

Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants:1) C/O Lloyd, 2) Warden Clark, 3) Warden Sherman, 4) Warden K. Allison, and 5) Appeals Coordinator Zuiani.

Plaintiff alleges as follows:

Plaintiff had two radios removed from his cell even though other inmates have been allowed to keep such items in their cells. Plaintiff has not been allowed to appeal the removal. Supervisory defendants are at fault along with those who actually took the radios because they were on notice of the removal, but failed to correct it or train the individuals responsible for the removal.

Plaintiff's claims center around an April 8, 2009 incident. (Compl. at 6.) On that day, Defendant Lloyd removed a $17.00 Sony radio and a $50.00 J. Win radio from Plaintiff's possession. (Id.) Defendant Lloyd removed this property so that he could give it to other inmates; he conducted an illegal search and seizure for the benefit of other inmates. (Id.) Defendant Lloyd also violated Plaintiff's right to "equal protection of the law" in that Plaintiff was not allowed to keep personal property like other similarly situated inmates. (Id.) Defendant Lloyd also violated Plaintiff's right to due process by depriving him of the right to dispose of his confiscated property according to his wishes. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff would have liked to destroy the radios, but Defendant Lloyd prevented this .*fn1 (Id.) Plaintiff did not authorize Defendant Lloyd to give his radios away. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Sherman and Clark violated Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth Amendment by not correcting Defendant Lloyd's confiscation of Plaintiff's radios even though he was aware of that wrongful confiscation. They also violated Plaintiff's right to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment because they failed properly to train Defendant Lloyd not to conduct illegal searches and seizures and failed to train him in the disposal of confiscated property. (Id. at 7-9.) Defendants Sherman and Clark also violated Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection in that neither of them properly investigated Defendant Lloyd's illegal actions after they were notified of the incident. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Allison violated Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth Amendment, that she failed to properly train Defendant Lloyd, and she violated Plaintiff's right to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Id. at 10-11.) As her signature appears on the response to Plaintiff's first level appeal of the April 8, 2009, incident, Defendant Allison was responsible for the "First Level Appeal Response." (Id.) She "failed to train" Defendant Lloyd not to conduct illegal searches and seizures and she failed to take any action to prevent or correct the illegal actions of Defendant Lloyd even though she was aware of them. (Id. at 11.) Defendant Allison violated Plaintiff's right to equal protection and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment because even though she knew about Defendant Lloyd's ulterior motive in conducting the search and seizure, she failed to investigate. (Id.)

Defendant Zuiani is also responsible for violating Plaintiff's right to equal protection and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Id. at 13.) He or she is the appeals coordinator who screened Plaintiff's 602 appeal. (Id.) Plaintiff appears to be alleging that Defendant Zuiani removed the legal letter that Defendant Clark sent to the appeals office from Plaintiff's 602 appeal because he did not want evidence of Defendant Lloyd's guilt in the 602 appeal. (Id. At 14.) Defendant Zuiani obstructed justice in ordering Plaintiff to remove documentation from the 602 appeal. (Id.)

Plaintiff asks for $67 in compensatory damages, $1 in nominal damages, and ...


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