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Beteta v. Cate

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 10, 2014

JOSE N. BETETA, Plaintiff,
v.
MATTEW CATE, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 14) RESPONSE DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

I. Background

Plaintiff Jose N. Beteta ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 20, 2013, Plaintiff filed his original complaint. (ECF No. 1.) On October 18, 2013, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint, with leave to amend. (ECF No. 12.) On December 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint, which is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 14.)

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. Id. § 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." Id. § 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 (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 to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary of Complaint

Plaintiff is incarcerated at California State Prison ("CSP") in Corcoran, California, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names as Defendants: Matthew Cate (Warden), J. Medina (Chairperson), A. Johnson (Sergeant), D. Tepperman, M. Oliveira, Caro (Correctional Officer), CCI committee members, and Gibson (Warden at Corcoran).

Plaintiff alleges the following. Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff and made sure that he lost his property. Plaintiff's appeal was granted at the first level, but he did not receive his property back. Plaintiff still does not have his property, including a television and radio. Plaintiff's term in the SHU ended on November 11, 2013, and he has not been released into general population yet.

Plaintiff requests monetary damages and an injunction to release him from the SHU as relief.

III. Analysis

A. Due Process-Property Deprivation

The Due Process Clause is not violated by the random, unauthorized deprivation of property so long as the state provides an adequate post-deprivation remedy. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533, 104 S.Ct. 3194 (1984); Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813, 816-17 (9th Cir. 1994). Plaintiff has an adequate post-deprivation remedy under California law, and therefore, he may not pursue a due process claim arising out of the unlawful confiscation of his personal property. Barnett, 31 F.3d at 816-17 (citing Cal. Gov't Code §§810-895). Accordingly, Plaintiff fails to state a due process claim for the loss of his property.

B. Supervisory Liability

The term "supervisory liability, " loosely and commonly used by both courts and litigants alike, is a misnomer. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677. "Government officials may not be held liable for the unconstitutional conduct of their subordinates under a theory of respondeat superior. " Id. at 676. Rather, each government official, regardless of his or her title, is only liable for his or her own misconduct. Id. at 677. When the named defendant holds a supervisory position, the causal link between the defendant and the claimed constitutional violation must be specifically alleged. See Fayle v. Stapley, 607 F.2d 858, 862 (9th Cir. 1979); Mosher v. Saalfeld, 589 F.2d 438, 441 (9th Cir. 1978). To state a claim for relief under § 1983 for supervisory liability, plaintiff must allege some facts indicating that the ...


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