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Cranford v. Smith

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 5, 2014

ARCHIE CRANFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
EBONY SMITH, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING CASE, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED UNDER SECTION 1983 (Doc. 20.)

GARY S. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

Archie Cranford ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on September 26, 2013. (Doc. 1.) On November 21, 2013, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 9.)

On October 7, 2013, Plaintiff consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction in this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and no other parties have made an appearance. (Doc. 4.) Therefore, pursuant to Appendix A(k)(4) of the Local Rules of the Eastern District of California, the undersigned shall conduct any and all proceedings in the case until such time as reassignment to a District Judge is required. Local Rule Appendix A(k)(3).

The court screened the First Amended Complaint and issued an order on May 21, 2014, dismissing the First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. (Doc. 19.) On May 30, 2014, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint, which is now before the court for screening. (Doc. 20.)

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

The in forma pauperis statute provides that "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). "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.P. 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.P. 8(a)(2). "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. 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 (2007)), and 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). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678. 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)).

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams , 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002) (emphasis added). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.

III. SUMMARY OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is presently housed at Coalinga State Hospital in Coalinga, California, in the custody of the California Department of Mental Health, where the events at issue in the Second Amended Complaint allegedly occurred. Plaintiff names as defendant Ebony Smith ("Defendant").[1] Plaintiff's factual allegations follow.

Plaintiff alleges that he approached defendant Mrs. Ebony Smith and asked her to make a dental appointment for him because his present dentures were not well-made and were severely damaging his mouth. Defendant Smith replied that she would schedule Plaintiff for an interview with the dentist "when she gets around to it, which meant that she wanted to play with water with another patient and when she was done playing, maybe she would have the hospital's dentist treat Plaintiff." (Second Amd Compl ("SAC") at 1:18-21.) Plaintiff asked Defendant Smith if she had a problem with the fact that Plaintiff was white, and Defendant failed to respond. Plaintiff challenged Defendant to prove that she was not motivated by race, and Defendant declined. Plaintiff continued to use damaged dentures because of Defendant's problem. The dentures cut Plaintiff's gums to the bone, and Plaintiff had to use "butterflys" to hold his gums together. (SAC at 1:26-27.) This would not have happened without Defendant's race problem, and if Plaintiff had been given a dentist appointment.

Plaintiff does not request any relief in the SAC.

IV. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was ...


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