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Cranford v. Price

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 6, 2014

ARCHIE CRANFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIANDON PRICE, et al., Defendants.

ORDER(1) DENYING MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME (ECF No. 12), AND (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 13)

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 9.) No other parties have appeared in the action.

The Court screened Plaintiff's complaint (ECF No. 1), dismissed it for failure to state a claim, but gave leave to amend. (ECF No. 11.) On September 19, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion for extension of time to file a first amended complaint (ECF No. 12), and also simultaneously filed a first amended complaint (ECF No. 13). The motion for extension of time is ready for ruling, and the first amended complaint is before the Court for screening.

I. MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME

Plaintiff requests a ninety day extension of time in which to file his amended complaint due to "security matters" and limited law library access. (ECF No. 12.) However, in light of Plaintiff's simultaneous filing of his amended complaint (ECF No. 13), as well as the Court's ruling herein granting Plaintiff further leave to amend, his motion will be denied as moot.

II. THE COMPLAINT

A. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by civil detainees 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 detainee 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).

B. 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. Iqbal , 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 to relief 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 677-78.

C. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff is detained at Coalinga State Hospital ("CSH"), where the acts giving rise to his complaint occurred. Plaintiff names the following CSH employees as Defendants: (1) Acting Director Briandon Price, (2) Executive Director Audrey King, (3) Administrative Official Cliff ...


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