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Williams v. Roberts

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 30, 2014

RONALD WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN ROBERTS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZALBE CLAIM (ECF NO. 13)

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Ronald Williams, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on March 26, 2014. (ECF No. 1.) He has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 7.)

On May 30, 2014, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint was screened and dismissed, with leave to amend, for failure to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 12.) Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (ECF No. 13) is now before the Court for screening.

II. 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).

III. SUMMARY OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

The Second Amended Complaint names (1) Brian Roberts, Commissioner of Board of Parole Hearings, and (2) Johnson, Head Nurse, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP), as Defendants.

The amended complaint contains a single allegation: "Defendant Roberts stated Plaintiff has some issues because of a willingness to change religions." Plaintiff then directs the Court to an exhibit which appears to be a transcript of the parole board hearing denying Plaintiff parole. (Compl. 3.) In the hearing Defendant Roberts raised Plaintiff's religious practice as a negative issue bearing on his suitability for parole. Defendant Roberts observed that Plaintiff repeatedly switched religious beliefs and that his lack of stable guiding principles was consistent with past manipulative behavior. ( Id. at 8.) Plaintiff maintains that his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion was violated and he requests a new parole board hearing. ( Id. at 3-4.)

IV. ANALYSIS

A. Section 1983

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 Section 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. ...


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