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Martinez v. Muniz

United States District Court, N.D. California

January 7, 2015

RONALD F. MARTINEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
W. L. MUNIZ, et al., Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE; ORDER DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO FILE A DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING SUCH MOTION;

WILLIAM H. ORRICK, District Judge.

Plaintiff Ronald Martinez, a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this federal civil rights action filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges that his jailors at Salinas Valley State Prison violated his First Amendment rights. His complaint containing these allegations is now before the Court for review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

Having concluded that the complaint (Docket No. 1) states cognizable claims, the Court directs defendants to file in response to the operative complaint a dispositive motion, or notice regarding such motion, on or before April 6, 2015, unless an extension is granted. The Court further directs that defendants are to adhere to the notice provisions detailed in Sections 2.a and 10 of the conclusion of this order.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

A "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Furthermore, a court "is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged." Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994).

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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).

B. Legal Claims

Plaintiff Martinez alleges that W.L. Muniz, Warden of Salinas Valley, C. Martella, a staff services analyst at Salinas Valley, E. Medina, an appeals coordinator at Salinas Valley, S. Hatton, an associate warden at Salinas Valley, and C. Barela, a correctional counselor at Salinas Valley, retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment rights when they wrongly screened out (rejected at an early stage) or otherwise impermissibly interfered with the processing of his prison grievances. When liberally construed, these allegations state claims under section 1983 and shall proceed.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows:

1. The Clerk of the Court shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of the operative complaint in this matter (Docket No. 1), all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon W.L. Muniz, Warden of Salinas Valley; C. Martella, a staff services analyst at Salinas Valley; E. Medina, an appeals coordinator at Salinas Valley; S. Hatton, an associate warden at Salinas Valley; and C. Barela, a correctional counselor at Salinas Valley. The Clerk shall also mail courtesy copies of the operative complaint and this order to the California Attorney General's Office.

2. No later than ninety (90) days from the date of this order, defendants shall file a motion for summary judgment or other dispositive motion with respect to the claims ...


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