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Hubbard v. Gipson

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 4, 2014

ZANE HUBBARD, Plaintiff,
v.
GIPSON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 8)

JENNIFER L. THURSTON, Magistrate Judge.

I. Background

Plaintiff, Zane Hubbard, 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 rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint in this action on January 13, 2014. (Doc. 1.) It was screened and dismissed with leave to amend. (Doc. 7.) On March 31, 2014, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint which is before the Court for screening. (Doc. 8.)

A. 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, malicious, 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); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

B. Summary of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff complains of acts that occurred while he was an inmate at California State Prison ("CSP") in Corcoran, California. Plaintiff names Warden C. Gipson, CPT J. Castro, IGI LT. S. Pina, IGI LT (A) J. C. Garcia, CDW T. Perez, and "Superintendent" as the defendants in this action. While Plaintiff has provided some greater detail in the First Amended Complaint over the generalized concepts in his original Complaint, he fails to link any of the named defendants to his allegations and makes general references to "they, " "the officials, " and "authorities" who generally harassed him and forced him "on mental health designation because [he] told prison authorities I wanted the chip used to illegally survey me in my cell removed.' From then on, the Superintendent of Corcoran, Castro, Pina, Garcia, Perez and other authorities have threatened to "kill me, " "sodomize me, " "fuck my mom, " said they "would set me up, ".... (Doc. 8, 1st AC, p. 3.) Plaintiff then states various allegations that are not linked to any of the named defendants.

Plaintiff has not stated any cognizable claims, but may be able to amend to correct the deficiencies in his pleading to do so. Thus, he is being given what appear to be the applicable standards based on key words and/or phrases in his statement of claim and one last opportunity to file an amended complaint.

C. Pleading Requirements

1. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions, " none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a). A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard... applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). "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).

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), quoting 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. Factual allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are not. Iqbal. at 678; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557. While "plaintiffs [now] face a higher burden of pleadings facts.., " Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d 949, 977 (9th Cir. 2009), the pleadings of pro se prisoners are still construed liberally and are afforded the benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, 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). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient, and "facts that are merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" fall short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

If he chooses to file a second amended complaint, Plaintiff should endeavor to make it as concise as possible. He should merely state which of his constitutional rights he feels were ...


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