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Markus A. Greer v. T. Caldwell

March 13, 2012

MARKUS A. GREER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
T. CALDWELL, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara A. McAuliffe United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1)

THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Markus A. Greeer is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is the complaint, filed March 17, 2011. (ECF No. 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. 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 "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted," or that "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court looks to the pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a), 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). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955 (2007)).

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

II. Complaint Allegations

Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is housed at Corcoran State Prison. Plaintiff alleges that his rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments were violated.

Plaintiff alleges that defendants used his prison record file to fabricate information against another inmate. Inmate Alexander was asked about housing with Plaintiff, who is a documented Blood gang member. Inmate Alexander refused, stating he doesn't house with Bloods. On December 26, 2010, Defendant Faldon filed a rule violation report against Inmate Alexander, allegedly in retaliation for Plaintiff filing inmate grievances. Plaintiff states that the housing policy is racially discriminatory. Plaintiff claims that his inmate file and statements made by him were used in a falsified rule violation report against Inmate Alexander. Plaintiff states he was prevented from proving that the rule violation against Inmate Alexander was fabricated.

Defendant Caldwell refused to personally ask Plaintiff six questions proposed by Inmate Alexander, depriving Plaintiff of his right to assist Inmate Alexander during the discovery process and the rule violation hearing. Defendant Lopez endorsed the constitutional violations knowing the rule report was falsified. Defendant Martinez refused to address the false information regarding Plaintiff that was included in Inmate Alexander's rule violation hearing. Plaintiff filed an appeal that was screened out by Defendant Campbell because Plaintiff was bringing the grievance on behalf of another prisoner.

For the reasons set forth below Plaintiff has failed to state a cognizable claim for relief. Plaintiff shall be given the opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies described by the Court in this order. In the paragraphs that follow, the Court will provide Plaintiff with the legal standards that appear to apply to his claims. Plaintiff should carefully review the standards and amend only those claims that he believes, in good faith, are cognizable.

III. ...


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