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Keith Neal v. Corrections

February 26, 2013

KEITH NEAL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CORRECTIONS, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF THIRTY DAYS

Plaintiff Keith Neal ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. No other parties have appeared in the case.

Plaintiff initiated this action on May 6, 2011. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

I. 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 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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

II. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is currently housed at Avenal State Prison. The events at issue in Plaintiff's Complaint occurred at Wasco State Prison ("WSP"). It appears Plaintiff wants to assert claims under the First and Fourteenth Amendments against the following individuals: 1) California Department of Corrections, 2) M. Diaz, correctional officer at WSP, 3) J. Sutton, Facility "B" Captain, 4) John N. Katavich, Chief Deputy Warden, and 5) P.L. Vasquez, Warden at WSP.

Plaintiff alleges as follows:

On February 15, 2011, Defendant Diaz read Plaintiff's legal mail out loud, loudly enough for other inmates to hear. (Compl. at 4.)

Plaintiff filed an appeal regarding the incident but received no response. (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff spoke with Defendant Sutton regarding the lack of a response. (Id. at 5.)

Defendant Sutton directed Plaintiff to Defendant Katavich. (Id.) Defendant Katavich sent Plaintiff a letter stating that an appropriate response had already been taken in connection with Plaintiff's grievance. (Id.)

Plaintiff asks for $85,000 in punitive damages, $3,000,000 for emotional distress, and $20,000 for interference with his mail. (Compl. at 4.)

III. ANALYSIS

A. 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 ...


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