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Gregory Mcclellan v. Kern County Sheriff's Office

August 20, 2012


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


Plaintiff Gregory McClellan ("Plaintiff") is proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff initiated this action on March 4, 2010. (ECF No. 1.) Prior to the Court taking any action on Plaintiff's Complaint, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 9.) Plaintiff has since filed a Second Amended Complaint. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 11.) Since no other parties have appeared and the Court has not yet screened Plainitff's pleading in this matter, the Court will allow Plaintiff to proceed on his Second Amendment Complaint. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is now before the Court for screening.


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, ____ U.S. ____, ____, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.

A cursory review of the Complaint satisfies the Court that it does not comply with the pleading requirements in any way which would allow the Court to determine if it contains hidden within it a cognizable cause of action. Moreover, given the demands imposed on this Court by the tremendous volume of these and voluminous other cases, it would not be practical nor fair to other litigants for the Court to spend the time necessary to go through this inordinately lengthy document to try to extract an identifiable, potentially cognizable claim, identify the facts, if any, related thereto and determine which, if any, Defendant(s) could possibly be held to answer. Instead, based upon review and identification of the various possible causes of action suggested, the Court will set out pleading standards applicable to each. Plaintiff will then be given the opportunity to re-plead in "a short and plain statement" a claim which meets those standards. Plaintiff will be required in that amended complaint to assert only related claims against only those Defendants who may credibly be alleged to be responsible for the facts giving rise to those claims. Facts unrelated to those claims will not be permitted. Claims not related to the single set or series of facts giving rise to those claims will not be permitted. Further, this Court can envision few claims which would need more than twenty pages to set them out. Thus, any amended filing which is longer than twenty pages will be viewed with great skepticism and may be rejected on that basis alone. Finally, any filing which does not comply with these instructions directing a short and plain statement or any filing which combines unrelated matters or defendants likely will result in dismissal with prejudice of the entire action.

II. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 CLAIMS

42 U.S.C. § 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). § 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).

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. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir.1987).


As an initial matter, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint does not meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) requirement that it contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."

Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is over thirty-six pages long and contains unrelated claims and defendants. It names the following individuals as defendants: 1) Donny Youngblood, Kern County Sheriff, 2) William B. Hakker, Kern County Deputy Sheriff, 3) William G. Smallwood, Kern County Deputy Sheriff, 4) Kern County Sheriff's Office, 5) John Doe Contreras, Kern County Sheriff Deputy, 6) Jane Does 1-7, Kern County Sheriff Deputies, 7) John Does 1-7, Kern County Sheriff Deputies, 8) Sr. Contreras, Detentions Officer, 9) C. Larson, Detentions Officer, 10) T. Rodriguez, Detentions Officer, 11) S. Lozano, State Parole Agent, 12) K. Wood, B.P.D. Officer, 13) S. Perkins, B.P.D. Officer, 14) John Marshall, Warden CMC-West, S.L.O, CA, 15) T. Gonzales, A.W., CMC-West, 16) Cutillo, A.W., CMC-West, 17) Jane Doe, Civil Commitment Coord., CMC-West, 18) Darius Dawkins, CDCR Parole Agent (PA), and 19) Jon Fink, CDCR PA.

Plaintiff's allegations are as follows:

Plaintiff first brings a claim of false imprisonment against Defendants Youngblood, Hakker, Smallwood, and Kern County Sheriff's Office. (Am. Compl. at 5, 7, 9.) Plaintiff reviewed the documents filed in his criminal case and discovered that he had not committed the crimes of which Defendants Hakker and Smallwood accused him. (Id. at 6.) Defendant Youngblood allowed Plaintiff to be falsely charged. (Id.) Due to these Defendants' actions, Plaintiff has been falsely imprisoned from February 18, 2010 to the present. (Id. at 5.)

Plaintiff's second claim is for intentional infliction of severe "emotional stress." (Am. Compl. at 10.) Unnamed individuals are maliciously and unlawfully detaining Plaintiff, causing him to suffer from paranoia, nervousness, humiliation, severe mental suffering, and duress. (Id. at 11-10.)

Plaintiff's third claim is for abuse of process. (Am. Compl. at 12.) Plaintiff alleges that unnamed individuals participated in an abuse of process for bringing proceedings without probable cause or without a proper purpose. (Id. at 12-13.)

Plaintiff's fourth claim is for denial of access to the courts. (Am. Compl. at 14.) Plaintiff filed two grievances regarding access to the courts, both of which were denied. (Id.) Plaintiff had to proceed in propia persona and was unable to access the law library. (Id.)

Plaintiff's fifth claim is for unlawful retaliation under the First Amendment. (Am. Compl. at 16.) Plaintiff had filed grievances about the "'lack of probable cause to detain Plaintiff" and the grievance was dismissed on February 18, 2010. (Id. at 18.) Plaintiff also filed a grievance for the return of his glasses. (Id.)

The following events occurred in retaliation to Plaintiff's grievances: Defendant Youngblood put a new law library policy into effect. (Am. Compl. at 16.) On December 16, 2009, Defendant Larson called Plaintiff for a blood pressure check but even though Plaintiff's blood pressure was high, she did not perform the check because Plaintiff was not on a list. (Id.) On December 13, 2009, Defendants Larson and Rodriguez had Plaintiff wait outside in cold weather when he was called for the doctor's line, even though Defendant Rodriguez knew Plaintiff was sick. (Id. at 16-17.) Defendant Larson asked Plaintiff what he had been charged with and gave away his special diet lunch twice. (Id.) Defendant Larson purposely gave Plaintiff a "red band," which implied that Plaintiff was a higher security risk and prevented him from attending church, even though she knew that Plaintiff was not facing a life sentence. (Id. at 18.)

Plaintiff's sixth cause of action is for denial of "prescribed ADA designated serious medical needs." (Am. Compl. at 20.) Plaintiff did not have his prescribed glasses for almost four months. (Id.) Defendant Kern County Sheriff's Office, Larson, Rodriguez, Contreras retaliated against Plaintiff for filing a grievance. (Id.) Defendant Kern County Sheriff's Office and its employees prevented Plaintiff from receiving medical care in violation of the ADA. (Id.) By doing so, they violated Plaintiff's rights under the Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. (Id.)

Plaintiff's seventh claim is for assault and battery with excessive force. (Am. Compl. at 21.) On August 17, 2009, Defendant Lozano slammed Plaintiff's face into the pavement, injuring his nose, eyes, and back. (Id.)

Plaintiff's eighth claim is for punishment without due process of law. (Am. Compl. at 22.) Plaintiff was taken to Wasco State Prison on July 15, 2011. (Id.) Defendants John Doe Contreras, Deputy Jane Doe, and Sergeant John Doe ignored Plaintiff's requests to not be sent to prison because he had not been "committed." (Id.) Defendant John Doe Contreras knew that Plaintiff was being punished without due process. (Id.) Plaintiff was also punished without due process on November 9, 2006 when Defendants Fink and Dawkins sentenced Plaintiff to prison using unconstitutional parole procedures. (Id.) He was again punished without due process of law on November 9, 2007 when Defendant Marshall, Gonzales, Cutillo, and Jane Doe again placed Plaintiff on a parole hold. (Id. at 23.)*fn1

Plaintiff's ninth cause of action is for deprivation of property without due process of law by Defendants Contreras, Youngblood, and Does. (Am. Compl. at 24.)

Plaintiff's tenth cause of action is for loss of familial association due to Defendants Dawkins, Fink, Marshall, Gonzales, Cutillo, Does, Youngblood, Hakker, Smallwood, and Kern County Sheriff's Office's actions.*fn2 (Am. Compl. at 24.)

Plaintiff's eleventh cause of action is for an illegal sentence against Kern County Superior Court. (Am. Compl. at 27.) Plaintiff's twelfth cause of action is for declaratory relief from an illegal arrest. (Id. at 33-34.) Plaintiff ...

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