IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 22, 2012
JAMES L. DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
SCHROEDER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Carolyn K. Delaney United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff has requested an extension of time to file a Third Amended Complaint pursuant to the court's order of April 13, 2012. (Dkt. No. 17.) Good cause appearing, the court will grant plaintiff an additional sixty days to file and serve a Third Amended Complaint.
Plaintiff also states that prison officials are withholding his legal mail and other legal property "in an attempt to stop me from contacting and accessing the court." Along with an extension of time, he seeks an order directing prison officials to return his legal property. (Id.)
Inmates have a fundamental constitutional right of access to the courts. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 346 (1996); Phillips v. Hust, 588 F.3d 652, 655 (9th Cir. 2009). The right of access to the courts is merely the right to bring to court a grievance the inmate wishes to present, and is limited to direct criminal appeals, habeas petitions, and civil rights actions. Lewis, 518 U.S. at 354. A prisoner alleging a violation of his right of access to the courts must demonstrate that he has suffered "actual injury." Lewis, 518 U.S. at 349-50. The actual-injury requirement mandates that an inmate "demonstrate that a non-frivolous legal claim had been frustrated or was being impeded." Id. at 353.
If plaintiff wishes to allege that his First Amendment right of access to the courts has been violated, he may do so in the Third Amended Complaint. Currently, the Second Amended Complaint has been dismissed and there is no operative complaint on file. No particular legal materials are required to set forth a "short and plain statement" of an access to courts claim as described above. If and when plaintiff states a claim that his right to access the courts was or is being violated, the court will consider any requested relief.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. Plaintiff's motion for an extension of time and return of legal property (Dkt. No. 17) is granted in part and denied in part as follows:
2. Plaintiff is granted sixty days from the date of this order in which to file and serve a Third Amended Complaint; and
3. The motion is otherwise denied.
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