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Billy Ray Maldonado v. James Yates

September 28, 2012

BILLY RAY MALDONADO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES YATES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Doc. 10)

laintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his initial complaint on July 23, 2010 and the Court dismissed the complaint with leave to amend because Plaintiff failed to link the alleged harm he suffered to any specific individual. (Doc. 9). Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("FAC") filed April 13, 2012.

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

The Court is required to review a case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must review the complaint and dismiss any portion thereof that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915A(b).

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A.Pleading Standards

"Pro se documents are to be liberally construed" and "'must be held to 'less stringent standards 4 than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (quoting 5 Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972)). "[They] can only be dismissed for failure to state a 6 claim if it appears 'beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim 7 which would entitle him to relief.'" Id. 8

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), "[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must 9 contain: (1) a short and plaint statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, . . . ; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d)(1). While a complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

In analyzing a pleading, the Court should set conclusory factual allegations aside, accept all non-conclusory factual allegations as true, and determine whether those non-conclusory factual allegations accepted as true state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949-52 (2009). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. at 1949 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In determining plausibility, the Court is permitted "to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950.

B.42 U.S.C. § 1983

Title 42, § 1983 of the United States Code provides a cause of action against [e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws . . .42 U.S.C. § 1983.

"The purpose of § 1983 is to deter state actors from using the badge of their authority to deprive 2 individuals of their federally guaranteed rights and to provide relief to victims if such deterrence fails." 3

Wyatt v. Cole, 504 U.S. 158, 161 (1992) (citing Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 254-57 (1978)). It 4 does not provide any substantive rights, but rather "authorizes a cause of action based on the 5 deprivation of civil rights ...


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