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Ronald Patterson v. K. Harrington

September 19, 2012

RONALD PATTERSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
K. HARRINGTON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FIRST SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Ronald Patterson is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action filed March 23, 2012 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) 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 that while incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP"), and classified as a security Level III inmate, he was housed in the Facility B Level III Gym/Dormitory ("Gym"), a sub-facility within a Level IV facility. This caused Level III inmates like Plaintiff to be mixed with higher security Level IV inmates, thereby endangering Plaintiff and violating his Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.*fn1 (Compl. at 6-7.) He was housed in this way pursuant to KVSP Operational Procedure #216 ("OP 216") which Defendants adopted and implemented even though internally inconsistent and contrary to the housing guidelines at Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15 §§ 3377(c), 3375.1(a)), and the California Department of Corrections, Department Operational Manual ("DOM") at §§ 62010, 62010.5. (Id. at 6-7.)

Plaintiff filed a prison appeal seeking repeal of OP 216 and cessation of Gym housing. (Id. at 11.) His appeal was denied at the Third Level. (Id.)

He names as Defendants (1) Harrington, KVSP Warden, (2) Lawless, KVSP Chief Deputy Warden, (3) Denney, KVSP Associate Warden, and (4) Amaya, KVSP Correctional Sergeant. (Id. at 3.)

He seeks monetary compensation and unspecified injunctive relief. (Id. at 9.)

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

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 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.'" Id. 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 667-68.

B. Fourteenth ...


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