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Quincy A. Sims v. C. Wegman

June 13, 2012

QUINCY A. SIMS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
C. WEGMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANT (DOC. 7)

Screening Order

I. Background

Plaintiff Quincy A. Sims ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On June 9, 2011, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing his Complaint. On December 19, 2011, the Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. On January 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint. Doc. 7.

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). "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).

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). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary Of First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff is incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP") in Delano, California, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names as Defendants C. Wegman, community resource manager at KVSP, and B. Daveiga, appeals coordinator at KVSP.

Plaintiff alleges the following. Plaintiff is a member of the Nation of Islam. According to Plaintiff, his dietary needs can only be met with the Jewish kosher diet, not the vegetarian or meat alternative diet. Followers of the Nation of Islam's teachings are to eat foods that increase mental power and physical appearance, and to prevent illness. Plaintiff contends that members of the Nation of Islam are strictly advised not to eat food from cans or wax containers, to avoid bleached, white enriched flour foods, and to reduce fat intake. The vegetarian or meat alternative diet consists mostly of foods forbidden for a Muslim in the Nation of Islam. The kosher diet is composed of fruits, vegetables, nuts, tinned, fish, dairy products, and kosher cereal, and should be provided to Nation of Islam inmates. Plaintiff also requests the food be served on disposable plates with disposable utensils. Plaintiff's religion requires that Nation of Islam meals be served on plates and eaten with utensils that have not come in contact with non-kosher items.

Plaintiff provided Defendant C. Wegman with documentation regarding his membership in the Nation of Islam and being a student of the honorable Elijah Muhammad's teachings.*fn1

Defendant C. Wegman found that he qualified for a religious diet, but only offered vegetarian or meat alternative diet. Defendant C. Wegman did not consider the laws of Plaintiff's religion, referring to Plaintiff as a Christian and finding that he is not entitled to kosher food because he is not practicing the Jewish faith. Defendant B. Daveiga repeatedly refused to process Plaintiff's appeal, rejecting it and badgering and humiliating Plaintiff.

Plaintiff requests as relief accommodations to receive kosher food while housed at KVSP, suspension of Defendants without pay, and an award of nominal and/or punitive damages.*fn2

III. Analysis

A. First Amendment - Exercise ...


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