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Riley v. Beaulieu

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

July 31, 2013

ANTHONY RILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
T. BEAULIEU, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 2) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On June 21, 2012, Plaintiff Anthony Riley, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a civil claim in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Kern. (ECF No. 2, Ex. A.) Defendants removed the matter to this Court on the grounds that the claims arise under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

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, malicious, " or 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).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n , 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor , 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

The Complaint identifies the following Correctional Officers at North Kern State Prison (NKSP) as Defendants: (1) T. Beaulieu, (2) J. Ramirez, and (3) John Doe.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

On June 21, 2011, Plaintiff was eating dinner in the dining facility when two inmates attacked a fellow prisoner. The floor officer instructed all inmates to lie on the floor and Plaintiff complied. Pepper spray was deployed to stop the fight. At some point during the altercation, Defendant Beaulieu fired her 40mm direct impact launcher at Plaintiff while he remained lying face down on the ground. Plaintiff was struck on the left arm, began bleeding, and was escorted to the medical clinic for treatment. (Compl. at 9.) Defendants Ramirez and Doe intentionally failed to report Beaulieu's use of force and Plaintiff's injury. (Id. at 9, 13.) The Complaint asserts that Defendant Beaulieu employed excessive force in violation of Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. (Id. at 10.)

IV. ANALYSIS

A. Section 1983

To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins , 487 U.S. ...


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