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Butler v. Gipson

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 26, 2014

RONALD BUTLER, Plaintiff,
v.
CONNIE GIPSON, Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE (Case Number) AMENDED COMPLAINT

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Ronald Butler ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action. He filed this action on November 4, 2013, and names Corcoran State Prison ("CSP") Warden Connie Gipson, Deputy Warden D. Leon, Captain T. Variz, Counselors Smith and Belnap and Lieutenant John Doe #1.

A. LEGAL STANDARD

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 or malicious, " 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).

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 , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id . (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

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.

Plaintiff must also demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Id. at 1949. This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

B. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at CSP, where the events at issue occurred.

Plaintiff alleges that on October 3, 2011, he was assaulted by Inmate Curtis. Plaintiff received a Rules Violation Report for fighting.

On October 7, 2011, Plaintiff was placed in Administrative Segregation after he was assaulted by Inmate Curtis a second time in Facility 3B. Two other inmates participated in the assault.

After the assaults, Facility 3B staff generated a confidential memorandum noting enemy concerns between Plaintiff and Inmate Curtis.

On October 12, 2011, Defendants Leon, Variz and Belnap, the Facility 3A Institutional Classification Committee ("ICC"), decided to release Plaintiff from Administrative Segregation to Facility 3A General Population.

When Plaintiff arrived at Facility 3A, he was placed on orientation status for ten days. After ten days, he was cleared for General Population program, "with no enemy concerns from Unit Classification members (UCC) Defendants T. ...


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