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Todd Kinnamon v. C. Latia

April 10, 2013

TODD KINNAMON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
C. LATIA, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

Plaintiff Todd Kinnamon, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action on August 15, 2012. He names Pleasant Valley State Prison Correctional Officers C. Latia and F. Jordan as Defendants.*fn1

A. LEGAL STANDARD

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, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. 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.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

To state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendantpersonally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Id. at 1949. This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

B. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California. The events complaint of occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP").

Plaintiff's complaint is brief. He states that Defendant Latia held him up on a wall while Defendant Jordan beat him. Plaintiff states that he was kicked in the lower back and sustained permanent injury.

C. ANALYSIS

1. Pleading Requirements

As explained above, 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 Atl. 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.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

Here, Plaintiff's factual allegations are contained in about four sentences. While his statement that Defendant Latia held him up on a wall while Defendant Jordan beat him may ultimately state an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim, his allegations are insufficient to meet the requirements of Rule 8. "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only "'give the defendant fair notice of what the .... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted) (emphasis added).

Here, Plaintiff's complaint is too brief to give Defendant's fair notice of the claims against them. He includes no factual context, such as location and date, within which to evaluate his claim. Plaintiff will be allowed to ...


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