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Sanders v. Mixon

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 5, 2014

ERICK RANDALL SANDERS, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF'S DEPUTY MIXON, Defendant.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Erick Randall Sanders, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, filed a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted in a separate written Order.

For the reasons outlined below, the complaint is DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

A federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2). "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Although in order to state a claim, a complaint

does not need detailed factual allegations, ... a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.

Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 553-56 (2007) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570.

II. Legal Claims

In his complaint, Plaintiff names one Defendant, Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Mixon. Plaintiff has left the space under "Statement of Claim" blank. Instead, under the "Relief" section, he asserts the following statement: "Assault charges against him 10 million dollars." (Compl. at 3.) This is the only allegation; no more facts are provided. Such a bare allegation is, of course, not sufficient to state a "plausible" claim that Plaintiff's constitutional rights were violated. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570 . The complaint will be dismissed with leave to amend.

In amending, Plaintiff should provide enough facts to explain, for instance, in what way and by whom he was assaulted. He should also explain when and where the assault took place, and elaborate on whether he suffered injuries as a result of the assault. The Court considers only claims of violations of federal law, usually the constitution, so Plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to show that the action he is complaining of rises to the level of a constitutional violation.

The Court again notes that only Defendant Mixon is named in the complaint. If Plaintiff is attempting to hold an individual liable, he must allege facts showing what that individual did that violated his constitutional rights. See Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988) (sweeping conclusory allegations will not suffice; plaintiff must instead "set forth specific facts as to each individual defendant's" actions which violated his or her rights). There is no respondeat superior liability in Section 1983 cases; ...


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