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Everett v. Brazelton

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 9, 2013

RONALD EVERETT, Plaintiff,
v.
P. BRAZELTON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF Nos. 1, 10) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR A COPY OF HIS ORIGINAL COMPLAINT AND EXHIBITS (ECF No. 11.)

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Ronald Everett ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics , 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999 (1971).[1] Plaintiff's complaint, filed on April 11, 2012, is currently before the Court for screening.[2]

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

Bivens actions and actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 "are identical save for the replacement of a state actor under § 1983 by a federal actor under Bivens. " Van Strum v. Lawn , 940 F.2d 406, 409 (9th Cir.1991). Under Bivens, a plaintiff may sue a federal officer in his or her individual capacity for damages for violating the plaintiff's constitutional rights. See Bivens , 403 U.S. at 397. To state a claim a plaintiff must allege: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a federal actor.

II. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff is currently housed at San Quentin State Prison. The events complained about allegedly occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP"). Plaintiff names the Elk Grove Police Department, United States Postal Inspector Frank Ducar, United States Postal Inspector Martin, PVSP Security Officer M. Black, PVSP Security Squad Sergeant J. Lopez, PVSP Warden J. Yates, Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation John Dovey, and PVSP Correctional Lieutenant J. C. Smith as defendants.

Plaintiff alleges as follows: Based on information obtained from inmate telephone calls in 2006 and 2007, Defendant Black notified Defendant Ducar of the possibility that narcotics were being sent via the United States Postal Service to the residence of Carol Salvant.

On April 1, 2008, Defendant Ducar informed Defendant Black that he had intercepted a package being sent to Ms. Salvant from Anna Torres. Defendant Ducar also indicated that he had identified the package as heroin and had obtained a search warrant.

On April 8, 2008, Defendant Black obtained a search warrant for Ms. Salvant's address. On April 10, 2008, the Rancho Cordova Special Services Unit, Defendant Elk Grove Police Department and the United States Postal Service executed the search warrant. Upon entry into the residence, Ms. Salvant had a seizure and was taken to Sutter County General Hospital. The search of the residence uncovered a package containing approximately 26.4 grams of suspected heroin in Ms. Salvant's bedroom, along with a 9mm handgun and other indicia. A Narcotic Identification Kit test was conducted on the heroin with a positive reaction. Defendant Elk Grove Police Department retained the handgun, but turned over the heroin and other indicia to Defendant Black. Defendant Black placed these items into the Sub Evidence Locker #2 at PVSP.

On May 6, 2008, Ms. Salvant was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail and charged with violations for supply of a controlled substance from a civilian to an inmate and transportation, sale and distribution of a controlled substance.

On April 10, 2008, Plaintiff and another inmate were housed in Administrative Segregation ("Ad-Seg") pending investigation into their suspected involvement in a conspiracy ...


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