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Daniels v. Reed

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 14, 2014

CURTIS DANIELS, Plaintiff,
v.
S. REED, Chief Deputy Warden, et al., Defendants

Curtis Daniels, Plaintiff, Pro se, TEHACHAPI, CA.

DISMISSAL ORDER

RALPH R. BEISTLINE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Curtis Daniels, a state prisoner appearing pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against several correctional officers.[1] Curtis' Complaint arises out of his incarceration by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (" CDCR") at the California Correctional Institute, Techachapi (" CCI").

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

This Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.[2] This Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally " frivolous or malicious, " that " fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, " or that " seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." [3] Likewise, a prisoner must exhaust all administrative remedies as may be available, [4] irrespective of whether those administrative remedies provide for monetary relief.[5]

In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court looks to the pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." [6] " [T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations, ' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." [7] Failure to state a claim under § 1915A incorporates the familiar standard applied in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), including the rule that complaints filed by pro se prisoners are to be liberally construed, affording the prisoner the benefit of any doubt, and dismissal should be granted only where it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can plead no facts in support of his claim that would entitle him or her to relief.[8]

This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief.[9] " [A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" [10] Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true.[11] " Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." [12]

II. GRAVAMEN OF COMPLAINT

Daniels alleges that in May 2008 he was questioned about a name change and identity theft and, when he refused to respond to the questions, was placed in administrative segregation in the Special Housing Unit (" SHU").[13] Subsequently, in October 2008, Daniels was again sent to the SHU because, according to Daniels, he was falsely validated as an gang member.

In March 2012 Daniels was issued a CDC-115 Rules Violation Report (" RVR") for refusing to share a cell, the adjudication of which resulted in the loss of 90 days of good time. Daniels further alleges that the RVR was issued because he refused to allow Correctional Sergeant Wurtz to orally copulate him. Daniels also alleges that his administrative appeals from the RVR adjudication were either lost or improperly processed, resulting in a denial of due process.

Daniels also alleges in general terms without specifics that some of the Defendants failed to curb a pattern of staging gladiator-style fights in the SHU. Notably, despite the fact that Daniels has alleged significant details concerning his other allegations, Daniels has not alleged that he was forced to engage in any of these so-called gladiator-style fights.

Finally, Daniels alleges that the acts of the Defendants were part of some grand conspiracy.

Based upon those facts Daniels alleges fifteen (15) causes of action.

First Cause of Action: Violation of his First Amendment right of association.

Second Cause of Action: Violation of his First Amendment right of free speech.

Third Cause of Action: Violation of his First Amendment right by retaliation for changing his name.

Fourth Cause of Action: Violation of his First And Fourteenth rights to associate with member of his own racial group.

Fifth Cause of Action: Cruel and unusual punishment/deliberate indifference to risk of retaliation in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Sixth Cause of Action: A general conspiracy among the Defendants to deprive him of his constitutional protected rights.

Seventh Cause of Action: Misclassification as a member of gang and housing in a SHU constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Eighth Cause of Action: A conspiracy to frame Daniels by false RVR's and denial of his ...


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