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McClellan v. Kern County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 2, 2014

GREGORY McCLELLAN, Plaintiff,
v.
KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FINDING THAT PLAINTIFF STATES A COGNIZABLE FOURTH AMENDMENT CLAIM AND DISMISSING OTHER CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM ECF No. 21

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Gregory McClellan ("Plaintiff") is proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Prior to the Court screening Plaintiff's action, Plaintiff filed First and Second Amended Complaints. (ECF No. 8, 11.) The Court screened Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (ECF No. 11, 13), dismissed it for failure to state a claim, but gave leave to amend (ECF No. 12). The Court screened Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint, issued findings and recommendations for Plaintiff to proceed on his one cognizable claim, and dismissed Plaintiff's other claims. (ECF No. 14.) The Court vacated the findings and recommendations after Plaintiff clarified several of his claims. (ECF Nos. 17-19.) Plaintiff was given leave to file a Fourth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 19.) Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint is now before the Court for screening. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 21.)

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

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 , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic 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.'" Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678.

II. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

Plaintiff names the following individuals and entities as defendants: 1) Donny Youngblood, Kern County Sheriff, 2) Kern County Sheriff's Office, 3) William G. Hakker, Deputy Sheriff in Kern County, 4) William G. Smallwood, Deputy Sheriff in Kern County, 5) S. Lozano, Parole Agent I in Bakersfield, California and employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), 6) Louis Wood, Officer with Bakersfield Police Department, 7) Kenneth Perkins, Officer with Bakersfield Police Department, 8) T. Rodriguez, Deputy Officer at Kern County Jail Lerdo Facility, 9) Jane and John Does 1-7, Deputies/Officers at Kern County Jail Lerdo Facility, 10) Joel Lueck, Deputy Public Defender at Kern County Public Defender's Office, and 11) Deputy John Doe Contreras with the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

Plaintiff asserts causes of action for assault and battery, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional stress, abuse of process, punishment without due process of law, and loss of familial association.

More specifically, Plaintiff alleges as follows:

1. Defendants Lozano, Wood, and Perkins slammed Plaintiff into the ground when arresting Plaintiff on August 17, 2009. (Am. Compl. at 3.) Defendant Wood and Perks twisted Plaintiff's arms behind his back and placed their knees on his back. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff knelt on the ground and Defendant Lozano tackled him. (Id.)
2. Defendants Youngblood, Hakker, Smallwood, and Lueck subjected Plaintiff to malicious prosecution. (Am. Compl. at 5-6.) Defendants Youngblood, Hakker, and Smallwood arrested Plaintiff without probable cause. (Id. at 5.) Defendant Lueck failed to properly advocate for Plaintiff's innocence during his criminal hearings. (Id. at 6.)
3. Defendants Youngblood, Hakker, and Smallwood subjected Plaintiff to emotional distress by arresting Plaintiff without probable cause. (Am. Compl. at 8.)
4. Defendants Youngblood, and Hakker, and Smallwood subjected Plaintiff to an abuse of process under the Restatement of Torts. (Am. Compl. at 9.)
5. Defendants Jane Doe, John Doe, Youngblood and Contreras punished Plaintiff without due process of law by incarcerating him at Wasco State Prison even though he had not been given a prison sentence. (Am. Compl. at 10, 11.)
6. Defendant Youngblood, Hakker, Smallwood, and Lueck denied Plaintiff the ability to associate with his family by incarcerating him without any probable cause. (Am. Compl. at 12.)

Plaintiff asks for injunctive relief, $4, 950, 000 in compensatory damages, ...


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