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William J. Stewart v. Bright

May 3, 2013

WILLIAM J. STEWART,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRIGHT, ET. AL,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 1).

Plaintiff William J. Stewart ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1 and 5). Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint filed on October 31, 2011. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff names as defendants to this matter: 1) Dr. Bright, 2) Dr. M. Sepulveda, 3) Dr. Gerald Ellis, 4) Registered Nurse Fox, and 5) The Federal Receiver (Medical) (collectively "Defendants"). As is required, the Court screens the complaint, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court ORDERS that Plaintiff's complaint be DISMISSED with leave to amend.

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss a case in which the plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis if the court determines that the case "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted" or is "frivolous." A claim is frivolous "when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to 2 contradict them." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). 3

II. PLEADING STANDARDS

A.Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure set forth the general rules for pleading. A pleading that states a claim for relief must include a statement affirming the court's jurisdiction, "a short and plain 7 statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief; and . . . a demand for the relief sought, 8 which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The 9 Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, and pro sepleadings are held to "less stringent standards" than pleadings by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521-21 (1972).

A complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the plaintiff's claim in a plain and succinct manner. Jones v. Cmty Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). The purpose of the complaint is to give the defendant fair notice of the claims against him, and the grounds upon which the complaint stands. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). The Supreme Court noted, Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Conclusory and vague allegations do not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). The Court clarified further, [A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [Citation]. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. [Citation]. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. [Citation]. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of 'entitlement to relief.'

Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 667 (citations omitted). When factual allegations are well-pled, a court should assume their truth and determine whether the facts would make the plaintiff entitled to relief. Id.

However, conclusions in the pleading are not entitled to the same assumption of truth. Id. The Court 2 may grant leave to amend a complaint to the extent that deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by 3 an amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-28 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). 4

B.42 U.S.C § 1983

In order to sustain a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must show (i) that he 6 suffered a violation of rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal statute, and (ii) that 7 the violation was proximately caused by a person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v. 8 Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The causation requirement of § 1983 is satisfied only if a 9 plaintiff demonstrates that a defendant did an affirmative act, participated in another's affirmative act, or omitted to perform an act which he was legally required to do that ...


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