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Juan Antonio Falcon v. M. R. Phillips

December 20, 2012

JUAN ANTONIO FALCON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. R. PHILLIPS,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

SECOND SCREENING ORDER ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 1.) THIRTY DAY DEADLINE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

I. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Juan Antonio Falcon ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the original Complaint commencing this action on December 6, 2010. (Doc. 1.) On December 16, 2010, Plaintiff consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 (c)(1), and no other parties have appeared. (Doc. 5.) The Court screened the Complaint and entered an order on March 9, 2011, requiring Plaintiff to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994) and Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 644 (1997). (Doc. 6.) On March 18, 2011, Plaintiff responded to the order to show cause, arguing that this case should not be dismissed under Heck and Balisok because his disciplinary conviction was reversed, vacated, and invalidated. (Doc. 7.) In light of Plaintiff's response to the order to show cause, Plaintiff's original Complaint is now before the Court for a second 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 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 is required to 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, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, 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). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal 556 U.S. at 678. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

To state a viable claim for relief, Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual allegations 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. Id.

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California. The events at issue allegedly occurred at Kern Valley State Prison when Plaintiff was incarcerated there. Plaintiff names one defendant, Correctional Lieutenant M. R. Phillips ("Defendant").

Plaintiff's entire allegations in the Complaint consist of the following: "Plaintiff was found guilty of a serious rules violation by Lt. M. R. Phillips on April 4th 2010 without being allowed to present witnesses relevant to the case. Lt. M. R. Phillips was assigned as the senior hearing officer during the fact finding hearing in response to modification order number KVSP-0-09-01820 dated December 11th 2009 to remedy previous due process violations during a prior fact finding hearing. Nevertheless Lt. M. R. Phillips denied plaintiff relevant witnesses after the fact, once more."

Complaint, Doc. 1 at 3 ¶IV. Plaintiff requests as relief "[t]hat serious Rules Violation log #FA-09-08-006R and all dispositions related to it be vacated and dismissed." Id. ¶V.

IV. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. "Section 1983 . . . creates a cause of action for violations of the ...


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