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Boyd v. City of Oceanside Police Dept.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 11, 2013

CHARLES BOYD, et al., Plaintiffs,


LARRY ALAN BURNS, District Judge.


Charles Boyd ("Plaintiff"), formerly detained at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, California, and proceeding pro se, initiated this civil rights action, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, on December 29, 2011.[1]

On March 23, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), but simultaneously dismissed his Complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (ECF Doc. No. 4.) Plaintiff was granted leave to amend, and has done so on two occasions since; however, both Plaintiff's First and Second Amended Complaints suffered from the same or similar deficiencies as his original pleading, and were likewise dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). See Oct. 11, 2012 Order (ECF Doc. No. 13); March 26, 2013 Order (ECF Doc. No. 18).

Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint (ECF Doc. No. 20), which is ostensibly his fourth attempt at pleading a plausible claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is now before the Court for sua sponte screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint fares no better than his previous pleadings, however. Thus, the Court finds, for the reasons discussed below, that it too must be dismissed for failing to state a claim and for seeking damages against defendants who are immune pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), and that this entire action must be dismissed without further leave to amend. See AE ex rel. Hernandez v. County of Tulare, 666 F.3d 631, 636 (9th Cir. 2011) (noting that district court need not grant leave to amend when further attempts "would be futile or the plaintiff has failed to cure the complaint's deficiencies despite repeated opportunities.") (citation omitted).

II. SCREENING PER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)

A. Standard of Review

As Plaintiff is aware, the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") obligates the Court to review his pleadings because he is proceeding IFP and to sua sponte dismiss them, or any portion of them which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or which seek damages from defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) ("[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners."); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) ("[S]ection 1915(e) not only permits, but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim.").[2]

A complaint is required to 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)). "When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity, and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id. at 679. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. The "mere possibility of misconduct" falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. ; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

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). Indeed, while courts "have an obligation where the petitioner is pro se, particularly in civil rights cases, to construe the pleadings liberally and to afford the petitioner the benefit of any doubt, " Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 & n.7 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Bretz v. Kelman, 773 F.2d 1026, 1027 n.1 (9th Cir. 1985)), it may not, in so doing, "supply essential elements of claims that were not initially pled." Ivey v. Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). Even before Iqbal, "[v]ague and conclusory allegations of official participation in civil rights violations" were not "sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss." Id.

B. Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint

As an initial matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff has waived all previous claims not re-alleged in his Third Amended Complaint against parties no longer identified as Defendants. See ECF Doc. Nos. 4, 13, 18, citing King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987).

In his most recent pleading, Plaintiff alleges four separate causes of action: 1) Fourth Amendment violations related to the validity of his June 30, 2011 arrest which he claims was based on an "invalid" warrant (TAC ¶¶ 57-58); 2) Fourteenth Amendment "due process" and "excessive force" claims arising during the course of that same arrest and transport from San Diego to Riverside, ( id. ¶¶ 59-61); 3) a conspiracy to deny him equal protection in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985, ( id. ¶¶ 62-63); and 4) violations of the "Domestic Terrorism Act" as "amended by the USA Patriot Act, Title 28 U.S.C. § 2331." ( Id. ¶¶ 1, 64.) The following parties are currently named as Defendants: Frank McCoy, Chief of the Oceanside Police Department ("OPD"); unidentified OPD Officers 1-100; Tom Aguigui, OPD Captain of Field Operations; Summer Stephan, Chief of the North San Diego County District Attorney's Office; Bonnie Dumanis, San Diego ...

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