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Joel Holley v. M. Scott

January 29, 2013

JOEL HOLLEY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. SCOTT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 11) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On May 4, 2012, Plaintiff Joel Holley, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 5.)

On October 31, 2012, Plaintiff's Complaint was screened and dismissed, with leave to amend, for failure to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 11) 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 FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff's factual allegations, a restatement of those previously plead and found insufficient, still do not state a cognizable claim.

Plaintiff's description of events set forth in the First Amended Complaint is a verbatim reproduction of the Court's summary of Plaintiff's original complaint - compare pages 5:9-7:5 of the First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 11) with pages 2:17-4:13 of the Court's original screening order (ECF No. 10).

Those segments of the amended complaint that are not a reproduction of the Court's summary are either legal conclusions or restatements of the core facts. Large portions of these sections are repetitive - compare the amended complaint at 8:19-10:26 with 11:1-13:8.

The Court's original screening order determined that these factual allegations were not sufficient to state a cognizable claim. Since Plaintiff's amended complaint offers no new facts, it necessarily fails to correct the pleading deficiencies previously identified by the Court.

The fact Plaintiff reproduced the Court's own summary of the alleged events suggests the possibility that Plaintiff may have misunderstood what is required of the amended complaint. Thus, the Court will grant Plaintiff one final opportunity to amend. In filing an amended pleading, Plaintiff is not limited to the Court's summary of his previous claims. Instead, Plaintiff must, in his own words, fully describe what happened, how the events amounted to a violation of Plaintiff's rights, and how each Defendant ...


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