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Johnney Ramey v. Reyersbach

January 17, 2012

JOHNNEY RAMEY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
REYERSBACH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1).

The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Moreover, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that complaints contain a ". . . short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). This means that claims must be stated simply, concisely, and directly. See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996) (referring to Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e)(1)). These rules are satisfied if the complaint gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it rests. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996). Because plaintiff must allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts by specific defendants which support the claims, vague and conclusory allegations fail to satisfy this standard. Additionally, it is impossible for the court to conduct the screening required by law when the allegations are vague and conclusory.

I. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff names the following as defendants: P. Reyersbach; T.J. Vasquez; Granillo; J. Smith; Folsom State Prison; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Plaintiff also sues an unnamed appeals coordinator. The following is a timeline of plaintiff's allegations:

September 23, 2008 Property was confiscated from inmate A. Hampton. September 24, 2008 Plaintiff assisted inmate Hampton in preparing an inmate grievance concerning the property confiscation which occurred the day before. September 24, 2008 Defendant Reyersbach searched plaintiff's property and discovered the draft inmate grievance plaintiff had prepared for inmate Hampton.

September 24, 2008 Plaintiff claims that, later that day, defendants

Reyersbach, Granillo, and Smith removed legal documents from his cell in retaliation for his having assisted with inmate Hampton's grievance.

He states that he complained to defendant Vasquez about his missing property and that he responded by "retrieving bag property and refusing to return it, until destruction was completed."

II. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's complaint suffers from a number of fatal flaws, discussed below:

A. Immune Defendants

Plaintiff names Folsom State Prison and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as defendants to this action. The Eleventh Amendment prohibits federal courts from hearing suits brought against a state both by its own citizens, as well as by citizens of other states. See Brooks v. Sulphur Springs Valley Elec. Coop., 951 F.2d 1050, 1053 (9th Cir. 1991). This prohibition extends to suits against states themselves, and to suits against state agencies. See Lucas v. Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam); Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). A state's agency responsible for incarceration and correction of prisoners is a state agency for purposes of the Eleventh Amendment. See Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, ...


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