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Arline v. Janda

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 12, 2013

G.J. JANDA, et. al., Defendant.


JANIS L. SAMMARTINO, District Judge.

Presently before the Court are Defendants G.J. Janda, C.J. Caffarella, P. Kuzil-Ruan, A. Lewis, R. Delgado, and R. Powell's ("Defendants") motion to dismiss Plaintiff Keith Duane Arline Jr.'s ("Plaintiff") First Amended Complaint ("FAC") (ECF No. 20), and Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes' Report and Recommendation ("R&R") advising this Court to grant Defendants' motion to dismiss (ECF No. 25). Also before the Court are Plaintiff's objections to the R&R (ECF No. 26), and Defendants' reply to Plaintiff's objections (ECF No. 27). For the following reasons, the Court ADOPTS the R&R in full and GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss without prejudice.


Magistrate Judge Stormes' R&R contains a thorough and accurate recitation of the factual and procedural history underlying the instant motion. (ECF No. 25 at 2.) This order incorporates by reference the background as set forth in the R&R, and briefly summarizes the most relevant facts here.

Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, commenced this action on October 18, 2011. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's operative FAC asserts two claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for constitutional violations that occurred during his incarceration at Calipatria State Prison. (ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff alleges that his procedural due process rights were violated at a disciplinary hearing conducted by Defendant Powell, after which he was housed in administrative segregation with multiple restrictions. (ECF No. 5 at 4-7.) Plaintiff further alleges that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment because of the lack of a surveillance camera in the main yard of the prison. (ECF No. 5 at 8-12.)


I. Review of the Report and Recommendation

A district court analyzes de novo any contested issue in a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Court may then "accept, reject, or modify" all or part of the R&R. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c). If no party files a timely objection, "the Court need only satisfy itself" that the Magistrate did not clearly err. Campbell v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 501 F.2d 196, 206 (9th Cir. 1974).

II. Motion to Dismiss

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a party to raise by motion the defense that the complaint "fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, " generally referred to as a motion to dismiss. The Court evaluates whether a complaint states a cognizable legal theory and sufficient facts in light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), which requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Although Rule 8 "does not require detailed factual allegations, '... it [does] demand[] more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In other words, "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A claim is facially plausible when the facts pled "allow[] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). That is not to say that the claim must be probable, but there must be "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. Facts "merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" fall short of a plausible entitlement to relief. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, the Court need not accept as true "legal conclusions" contained in the complaint. Id. This review requires context-specific analysis involving the Court's "judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 678 (citation omitted). "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not show[n]' - that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Id. Moreover, "for a complaint to be dismissed because the allegations give rise to an affirmative defense[, ] the defense clearly must appear on the face of the pleading." McCalden v. Ca. Library Ass'n, 955 F.2d 1214, 1219 (9th Cir. 1990).

Relevant here, the Court has a duty to liberally construe a pro se's pleadings. See Karim-Panahi v. L.A. Police Dep't, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988). "Pro se complaints are to be construed liberally and may be dismissed for failure to state a claim only where it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief." Barret v. Belleque, 544 F.3d 1060, 1061-62 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). However, the court's liberal interpretation of a pro se complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not pled. Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982).

The Court will grant leave to amend unless it determines that no modified contention "consistent with the challenged pleading... [will] cure the deficiency." DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992) (quoting Schriber Distrib. ...

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