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Fresno, California Porcha Neal v. United States Department of Justice

January 15, 2013

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA PORCHA NEAL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara A. McAuliffe United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Porcha Neal ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, has filed this civil rights action against the United States Department of Justice (the "DOJ") for events related to her arrest and incarceration in the criminal action of United States of America v. Major, et al., No. 07-cr-00156-LJO (E.D. Cal., 2007). Plaintiff alleges violations of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988 *fn1 , the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, false arrest, false imprisonment, battery, negligence and violations of the Bane Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 51.7; 52.1.

Plaintiff brings this complaint to challenge the propriety of her arrest and the adequacy of her medical treatment while incarcerated. Explained in greater detail below, Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a cognizable claim because she has asserted improper claims against an improper defendant. Plaintiff will be granted leave to amend her complaint in a manner consistent with this order.

II. BACKGROUND

On or about June 14, 2007, an arrest warrant was issued for Plaintiff in United States of America v. Major, et al., No. 07-cr-00156-LJO (E.D. Cal., 2007). Pl.'s Compl., ¶ 13, Doc. 1. Among other charges, Plaintiff was charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. Id. After her arrest, a detention order requiring Plaintiff to remain in custody pending trial was subsequently issued. Id. at ¶ 14. Plaintiff remained incarcerated from June 15, 2007 until December 23, 2009, at which point Plaintiff was acquitted of all criminal charges against her. Id. at ¶¶ 15, 17, 20.
Sometime prior to April 10, 2008, Plaintiff began to suffer from "severe dental pain and discomfort." Id. at ¶ 17. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion in the Major proceeding to compel the U.S. Marshall to transport her for outside dental treatment. Id. at ¶ 17. The motion was denied. Id.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code Section 1915(e)(2), the Court has reviewed the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it determines that the action is legally "frivolous or malicious," fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question ( Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Trustees of Rex Hospital , 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976)), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff ( Resnick v. Hayes , 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000)), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor ( Jenkins v. McKeithen , 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969)).

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 , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (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). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Id . at 1949.

A pleading may not simply allege a wrong has been committed and demand relief. The underlying requirement is that a pleading give "fair notice" of the claim being asserted and the "grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson , 355 U.S. 41, 47-48 (1957); Yamaguchi v. United States Department of Air Force , 109 F.3d 1475, 1481 (9th Cir. 1997).

If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend should be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment. Lopez v. Smith , 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000). Dismissal of a pro se complaint for failure to state a claim is proper only where it is obvious that the Plaintiff cannot prevail on ...


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