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Billy Rae Maldonado v. James Yates

May 8, 2013


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


Plaintiff Billy Rae Maldonado ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his original complaint on November 14, 2011. (Doc. 1). On March 27, 2013, the Court dismissed the original complaint and granted Plaintiff leave to amend. (Doc. 7). Plaintiff timely filed his first amended complaint on April 8, 2013, (Doc. 8), which the Court now screens pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

For the following reasons, the Court recommends the matter be DISMISSED.


Because Plaintiff is seeking redress from governmental employees in a civil action, the Court is required to screen his complaint in order to identify cognizable claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a)-(b). The Court shall "dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 28 U.S.C. § 2 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). 3


A. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)

"Pro se documents are to be liberally construed" and "'must be held to 'less stringent standards 6 than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (quoting 7 Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972)). "[They] can only be dismissed for failure to state a 8 claim if it appears 'beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim 9 which would entitle him to relief.'" Id. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), "[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain: (1) a short and plaint statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, . . . ; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d)(1). While a complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

In analyzing a pleading, the Court sets conclusory factual allegations aside, accepts all nonconclusory factual allegations as true, and determines whether those non-conclusory factual allegations accepted as true state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-682 (2009). "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." (Id. at 1949) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In determining plausibility, the Court is permitted "to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950.

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 suffered a violation of rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal statute, and (ii) that the violation was proximately caused by a person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The causation requirement of § 1983 is satisfied only if a 2 plaintiff demonstrates that a defendant did an affirmative act, participated in another's affirmative act, 3 or omitted to perform an act which he was legally required to do that caused the deprivation 4 complained of. Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 5 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978)). 6


At all times relevant to the complaint, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison. (Doc. 8 at 2-3). Plaintiff names N. Greene, a correctional sergeant at PVSP, and J.M. Wooded, 9 a correctional lieutenant at PVSP, as defendants in this matter. Id. at 2-3. In addition, Plaintiff names the following PVSP correctional officers as defendants: S. Mendoza, P. Soares, L. Navarro, and E. McBride.*fn1 Id. at 3. Plaintiff submits a relatively indecipherable*fn2 and nonsensical amended complaint, which is summarized, as best as the Court can determine, as follows:

On February 6, 2008, Defendant Mendoza randomly selected and ordered Plaintiff to submit to a urinalysis test. (Doc. 8 at 3). As Plaintiff suffered from undisclosed problem with his prostate and bladder and from Valley Fever, he was unable to provide a urine sample. Id. Plaintiff offered instead to submit to a blood test. Id. Plaintiff blames Defendant Greene for the urinalysis incident. Id. It appears that Plaintiff's refusal to urinate caused some disciplinary ...

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