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Connor A. Davis v. Colusa County Court System

February 6, 2012

CONNOR A. DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COLUSA COUNTY COURT SYSTEM, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff is a Colusa County Jail inmate proceeding pro se. He seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested authority pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to proceed in forma pauperis. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.

Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). Plaintiff has been without funds for six months and is currently without funds. Accordingly, the court will not assess an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Plaintiff is obligated to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust account. These payments shall be collected and forwarded by the appropriate agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). Procedural History

On August 22, 2011, plaintiff filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. This court previously determined that the petition sought money damages in connection with plaintiff's claims of cruel and unusual punishment and false imprisonment. See Doc. No. 15 at 2. On December 13, 2011, this court dismissed with leave to file a complaint seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, because: (1) petitioner raised claims related to the conditions of his confinement and sought money damages; and (2) petitioner did not seem to be challenging his current custody. To the extent he was, this court found that the claims did not appear to satisfy the high standard set by Younger v.Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45-46, 91 S.Ct. 746, 750-51 (1971), for federal court interference in an ongoing state court criminal proceeding.

On December 28, 2011, plaintiff filed the current complaint. Screening Requirements

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).

A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.

A complaint must contain more than a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action;" it must contain factual allegations sufficient to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). "The pleading must contain something more...than...a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action." Id., quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure 1216, pp. 235-235 (3d ed. 2004). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __ U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.

In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hospital Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740, 96 S.Ct. 1848 (1976), 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, 89 S.Ct. 1843 (1969).

The Complaint

In the complaint, plaintiff identifies himself as plaintiff "Pro Per" and "Pro Bono." The complaint reads that plaintiff has brought other lawsuits on behalf of himself, pro per and pro bono, and "inmates." It is unclear whether plaintiff is seeking, in the current lawsuit, to represent other inmates pro bono.

As defendants, plaintiff names Colusa County Jail, Colusa County Court System, and "people involved in all three (3) cases, person(s) or agencies would not sign name only initial, involved agencies - county, city, state and federal." See Complaint at III. Plaintiff also names as defendant a Judge Thompson, who, according to one of the attachments to the complaint, is a judge of the state Superior ...


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