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Robert Bishop v. Kelly Harrington

May 10, 2013

ROBERT BISHOP,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
KELLY HARRINGTON, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 20)

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (ECF No. 22) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Robert Bishop is a state prisoner appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on January 10, 2011. (ECF No. 1.) Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed April 19, 2013, and Plaintiff's memorandum of law in support of Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. (ECF Nos. 20, 21.)

As discussed below, Plaintiff's first amended complaint fails to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and fails to state any cognizable claims for relief. Therefore, it shall be dismissed with leave to amend.

II. SCREENING

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 on which relief may be granted," or that "seek[] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

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)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient, and "facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

III. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison. Plaintiff brings this action naming thirty one defendants at two different correctional institutions alleging retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment, denial of due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and violations of the California Constitution.

A. Joinder Requirement

As an initial matter, Plaintiff is attempting to bring unrelated claims that occurred at two different correctional institutions in the same suit. For example, Plaintiff alleges that he was retaliated against for filing grievances by being placed in Administrative Segregation, that he was housed in a cell with murky smelling foul water on the floor, and prison officials failed to investigate false charges filed against him. While Plaintiff is alleging claims that occurred at separate institutions, his complaint does not provide the Court with the ability to determine where the actual events alleged occurred.

These unrelated claims against unrelated parties may not be brought in a single action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a), 20(a)(2); Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). Plaintiff may bring a claim against multiple defendants so long as (1) the claim arises out of the same transaction or occurrence, or series of transactions and occurrences, and (2) there are commons questions of law or fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2); Coughlin v. Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1351 (9th Cir. 1997); Desert Empire Bank v. Insurance Co. of North America, 623 F.3d 1371, 1375 (9th Cir. 1980). Only if the defendants are properly joined under Rule 20(a) will the Court review the other claims to determine if they may be joined under Rule 18(a), which permits the joinder of multiple claims against the same party.

Plaintiff shall be granted an opportunity to amend his complaint to correct this deficiency. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff shall choose which claims he wishes to pursue in this action. If Plaintiff does not do so and his amended complaint sets forth unrelated claims which violate joinder ...


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