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Clarence Leon Dews v. Edmund G. Brown

November 19, 2012

CLARENCE LEON DEWS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

FIRST SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE ANY CLAIMS (Doc. 6) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Clarence Leon Dews, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February 21, 2012. On March 28, 2012, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint as a matter of right. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a).

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences," Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendantpersonally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Discussion

A. Summary of Allegations

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison. Plaintiff is fifty-five years old, wheelchair-bound, and has spent a total of forty years in prison. Plaintiff was most recently recommitted on November 17, 2010.

The precise bases for Plaintiff's claims, and against whom, are sufficiently unclear that Plaintiff's thirty-seven page amended complaint does not state any cognizable claims for relief. Based on issues mentioned by Plaintiff in his amended complaint, the Court will provide Plaintiff with the applicable legal standards and as much notice of the deficiencies as possible given the limitations of the pleading. In amending his complaint, Plaintiff should carefully review the sections which follow.

Additionally, Plaintiff is informed that he may not bring unrelated claims against unrelated parties in a single action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a), 20(a)(2); Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). Plaintiff may bring a claim against multiple defendants so long as (1) the claim arises out of the same transaction or occurrence, or series of transactions and occurrences, and (2) there are commons questions of law or fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2); Coughlin v. Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1351 (9th Cir. 1997); Desert Empire Bank v. Insurance Co. of North America, 623 F.3d 1371, 1375 (9th Cir. 1980). Only if the defendants are properly joined under Rule 20(a) will the Court review the other claims to determine if they may be joined under Rule 18(a), which permits the joinder of multiple claims against the same party.

Improper joinder of claims is almost certainly an issue here, given that Plaintiff's allegations involve more than one prison, more than one incident or event, and a myriad of defendants holding diverse positions with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or with the State. Plaintiff may not pursue multiple, unrelated claims in one action, so in amending, he should consider which issues he wishes to pursue in this action. If Plaintiff's ...


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