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Villanueva v. California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 27, 2013

ALEJANDRO VILLANUEVA, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Docs. 1)

JENNIFER L. THURSTON, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Alejandro Villanueva ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in a prisoner civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this matter on August 19, 2013. (Doc. 1). As required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court presently screens the complaint, and, for the reasons set forth below, DISMISSES the complaint with leave to amend.

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss a case in which the plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis if the court determines that the case "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted" or is "frivolous." A claim is frivolous "when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them." Denton v. Hernandez , 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992).

II. PLEADING STANDARDS

A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)

"Pro se documents are to be liberally construed" and "must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Estelle v. Gamble , 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) ( quoting Haines v. Kerner , 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972)). "[They] can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim 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 non-conclusory 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 , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-52 (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 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 complained of. Arnold v. IBM , 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981) ( quoting Johnson v. Duffy , 588 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978)).

III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

Though the complaint is concise, Plaintiff's complaint lacks any statement of facts. Rather, Plaintiff sets forth nothing more than conclusory allegations in his complaint. Furthermore, he fails to identify all of the individuals he wishes to name as Defendants. He names, Wasco State Prison ("WSP"), the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), and "medical staff et al" without providing any names of or indication of how many medical personnel he wished to join to this matter. Nonetheless, the complaint is best summarized as follows:

Plaintiff's cause of action arose while he was incarcerated at WSP located in Wasco, California. (Doc. 1 at 3). Plaintiff alleges that he "slipped and fell" on an undisclosed date outside of WSP's showering facilities. Id . Plaintiff sustained undisclosed injuries to his leg and hip. Id . Unnamed doctors or medical ...


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