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Michael Wayne Hudson v. Perez

April 23, 2012

MICHAEL WAYNE HUDSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
PEREZ,
DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 1) CLERK TO CLOSE FILE DISMISSAL IS SUBJECT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Michael Wayne Hudson, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action on December 15, 2011 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (Consent, ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

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

Plaintiff alleges, as against sole Defendant Correctional Officer Perez (Compl. at 2), as follows:

On May 21, 2008, while Plaintiff was absent from his cell, Defendant Perez, a Correctional Officer at Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP"), negligently allowed Plaintiff's cell-mate to remove Plaintiff's personal property from the cell. This action deprived Plaintiff of the property in violation of his unspecified federal rights. (Id. at 2, 5.) He complained to staff, who immediately retrieved some of the property taken and returned it to Plaintiff. (Id. at 6, 23-24.) According to Plaintiff, not all of his property was returned. (Id. at 23-24.) He grieved the property deprivation through the prison appeal process. (Id.) His appeal was denied at the Director's Level. (Id.) He also filed a related complaint in Kern County Superior Court on February 8, 2009; it was dismissed as "abandoned" on June 24, 2011. (Id. at 48.)

He seeks the value of property taken, damages for emotional stress and pain, compensatory damages of $15,000 and punitive damages of $15,000. (Id. at 3.)

IV. ANALYSIS

A. Pleading Requirements Generally

To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. ...


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