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Gregory E. Wooten, et al. v. California Dep't of Corrections

May 8, 2013


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


Plaintiff Gregory E. Wooten ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff initiated this matter on April 22, 2013. Id. As required, the Court screens the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and for the following reasons, the Court ORDERS that Plaintiff's complaint 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. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).


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

"Pro se documents are to be liberally construed" and "'must be held to 'less stringent standards 4 than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (quoting 5 Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972)). "[They] can only be dismissed for failure to state a 6 claim if it appears 'beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim 7 which would entitle him to relief.'" Id. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), "[a] pleading that 8 states a claim for relief must contain: (1) a short and plaint statement of the grounds for the court's 9 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, 676-684 (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 678) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In determining plausibility, the Court is permitted "to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679.

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 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 caused the deprivation 2 complained of. Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 3 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978)). 4


Plaintiff currently resides at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California, but his cause of 6 action arose during his incarceration at the California Correction Center located in Susanville, 7 California. (Doc. 1 at 1). Plaintiff names the following state agencies and individuals as Defendants in 8 this matter: (1) the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), (2) the CCC-9

Susanville, (3) the California Correctional Health Care Services ("CCHCS"), (4) J.D. Lozano, Chief of the CDCR Office of Inmate Appeals, (5) R. Fredrickson, a senior psychologist at CCHCS, and (6) D. Swingle, the Chief Medical Executive at CCHCS. Id. at 1-2. The following staff members at CCCSusanville are also joined as Defendants: (1) Warden Mullin, (2) Assistant Warden R. Gower, (3) Lieutenant ("Lt.") P. Spoak, (4) Correctional Officer Delgado, (5) Correctional Officer Tisdal, (6) Appeals Coordinator K. Henderson, and (7) Correctional Officer Chandler. Id. at 2. Plaintiff seeks recompense in the amount of $20,000,000.00. Id. at 3.

The 4-page complaint fails to set forth any statement of facts. See Id. at 1-4. Rather, Plaintiff refers the Court to Exhibits A-1 through F-7, which consists of 44-pages of haphazardly attached documents that do not constitute a statement of facts. Id. at 5-48. It appears that Plaintiff believes the Court will interpret the facts of his case from these exhibits; not so. Although Plaintiff may present exhibits to the Court at a later time, he need not attach exhibits to the complaint. Plaintiff is advised that he SHALL set forth a concise statement of facts in his amended complaint to explain the "who, what, when, where, how and why" of his claim such to demonstrate why he ...

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