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Sims v. Doe

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 27, 2014

QUINCY SIMS, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN DOE, et al., Defendants.

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

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

The Complaint is before the Court for screening.

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, malicious, " or 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).

II. PLEADING STANDARD

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990), quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

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. lqbal, 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." Id. 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. Id. at 667-68.

III. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff was the victim of an in-cell assault at Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP"). He filed a CDCR Form 22 request with Defendant John Doe, KVSP Correctional Counselor, seeking reclassification to single cell status due to safety concerns. Defendant Doe ignored his request.

Plaintiff grieved Doe's failure to respond. The grievance was denied at the First Level by Defendant Acebedo, KVSP Correctional Counselor, on grounds Plaintiff and the cellmate involved in the incident were placed on each other's enemy chrono and Plaintiff did not meet criteria for single cell status.

The grievance was denied at the Second Level by Defendant Seaman, KVSP Correctional Counselor, on grounds "mutual combat" ...


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