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Michael Terry v. California Department of Corrections and Moot Rehabilitation

August 2, 2012

MICHAEL TERRY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND MOOT REHABILITATION, 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 AND DENYING MOTION FOR P R E LIM IN A R Y IN J U N C T IO N A N D TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AS / THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

(ECF Nos. 1, 4)

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Michael Terry ("Plaintiff") is a former 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 and affidavit in support of Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, filed July 13, 2011. (ECF Nos. 1, 4.)

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).

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, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now higher, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted), and to survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient, and "facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Plaintiff's Complaint

Plaintiff brings this action against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), Director Matthew Cate; Warden Kathleen Allison; and Chief Medical Officer A. Enenmoh alleging violations of his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff's conclusory allegations of failure to receive pain medication do not state a cognizable claim under section 1983.

Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of constitutional or other federal rights by those acting under color of state law. E.g., Patel v. Kent School Dist., 648 F.3d 965, 971 (9th Cir. 2011); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). For each defendant named, Plaintiff must show a causal link between the violation of his rights and an action or omission of the defendant. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-50; Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 (9th Cir. 2011); Corales v. Bennett, 567 F.3d 554, 570 (9th Cir. 2009).

Here, Plaintiff is attempting to bring suit against prison officials based upon the position they hold within the prison system, and he has not linked the named defendants to any viable claims for relief arising out of the violation of Plaintiff's federal rights. Plaintiff's vague allegations simply do not demonstrate a violation of any right by the defendants.

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.

II. Legal Standards

A. Defendant ...


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