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Trudeau v. Warden

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 17, 2014

JAMIE TRUDEAU, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Jamie Trudeau ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action. Plaintiff filed this action on October 21, 2013. Pursuant to Court order, he filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on April 24, 2014. He names numerous Defendants, and except for Warden Diaz, all Defendants are identified only by their positions.

A. LEGAL STANDARD

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 or malicious, " 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).

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 , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. 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 . (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

Plaintiff must also demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Id. at 1949. This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; 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. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

B. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is currently housed at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility ("CSATF") in Corcoran, California. The events at issue occurred between 2011 and 2014, while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison ("CSP") and/or CSTAF.

Plaintiff alleges that in August 2011, law library staff stopped calling him to the law library for General Legal User status. In October of 2011, when Plaintiff requested a court address from the law library staff, he was told he had to fill out a trust withdrawal form. Plaintiff contends that these actions show that staff denied him access to the courts.

Plaintiff alleges that he is a defendant in a criminal case (SC-TM-CR-CR-10-001237-002) and contends that he has a Sixth Amendment right to present a non-frivoulous legal claim.

Plaintiff also contends that he filed a writ of habeas corpus in Mendicino County (SUKCRCR-14-2531), and it was denied for unreasonable delay. He states that it took him three years to file the petition. He alleges that this delay was caused by limited law library access, and that staff are hindering his attempts to file a legitimate legal claim.

Plaintiff contends that the Warden, Captain and Senior Law Librarian became aware of the law library issue when he filed inmate appeals. However, rather than fix the issue, they only cited prison policy that each inmate is entitled to two hours of law library time each week.

Plaintiff alleges that from 2012 through 2014, SATF and CSP law library staff denied him access to the law library, which in turn denied him access to the courts to present a non-frivolous legal claim. He alleges that once they became aware that he had a petition for writ of habeas corpus pending in Kings County, his 120-day wait was cut to 30 to 60 days.

Plaintiff also contends that because he is a white inmate, he was not called as much as other inmates. He explains that there are no white inmate workers in the law library, and because the workers help ...


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