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Priest v. Mimms

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 4, 2014

HOLLIS EDWARD PRIEST, III, Plaintiff,
v.
MARGARET MIMMS, et al., Defendants.

SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1)

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Hollis Edward Priest, III, ("Plaintiff") is a jail inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on July 3, 2013, is currently before the Court for screening.

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). 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).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler , 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff is housed at the Fresno County Jail, where the events in his complaint are alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff names the following defendants: Sheriff Margaret Mimms, Officer Arroyo, Officer Barajas and Officer Hernandez.

Plaintiff alleges as follows:

On March 28, 2013, Officer Arroyo refused Plaintiff's right to an inmate grievance procedure regarding a medical issue. Plaintiff asserts that his attempts to submit slips to be seen by medical were refused and destroyed, which led to him using the grievance procedure. His first attempt at the grievance procedure was disposed of and his second attempt was denied by signature refusal.

On April 1, 2013, Plaintiff's dorm was released for optional recreation time, Plaintiff requested use of the local phone book. An officer told Plaintiff that he would attempt to locate one. Plaintiff claims that he previously filled out several forms to find out his attorney's phone number before returning to court. Plaintiff waited patiently for a response from one of the three officers standing at the designated station for phone books. One of the officers observed Plaintiff and came over to him. The officer then directed Plaintiff to place his hands on the wall with feet spread. The remaining officers approached and surrounded Plaintiff. The original officer pulled Plaintiff away from witnesses and belittled him, attempting to engage Plaintiff. Plaintiff then requested a sergeant for his own safety. Plaintiff contends that Defendant Barajas engaged in inappropriate staff/inmate relationships.

Plaintiff further alleges that since the incident he has been harassed, bullied, and disrespected by jail staff. Attached to Plaintiff's complaint are a number of exhibits, including inmate grievance forms.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and ...


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