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James v. Calipatria State Prison

United States District Court, S.D. California

January 22, 2015

LOUIS JAMES, CDCR #AE-7438, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIPATRIA STATE PRISON; G.W. JANDA; A. CASTRO; E. TRUJILLO; GROTH; R.N. NELSON; CARPIO; M.C. MORALES; J.M. BUILTEMAN; MARTEL; J.D. LOZANO; CALIFORNIA DEP'T OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, Defendants.

ORDER: (1) DISMISSING DEFENDANTS AND CLAIMS FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) AND § 1915A(b); AND (2) DIRECTING U.S. MARSHAL TO EFFECT SERVICE OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT ON REMAINING DEFENDANTS Procedural History

BARRY TED MOSKOWITZ, District Judge.

On April 17, 2014, Louis James ("Plaintiff"), currently incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison located in Coalinga, California and proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has also filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). On May 19, 2014, this Court GRANTED Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP but sua sponte dismissed his Complaint for failing to state a claim and for seeking monetary damages against immune defendants. ( See May 19, 2014 Order, ECF No. 3, at 8.) Plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended complaint in order to correct the deficiencies of pleading identified by the Court. ( Id. ) On June 30, 2014, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). (ECF No. 5.)

The Court, once again, conducted the required sua sponte screening and dismissed Plaintiff's FAC for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (ECF No. 6.) On December 15, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). (ECF No. 7.)

II. Screening Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b)

A. Standard of Review

As the Court stated in its previous Orders, the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") obligates the Court to review complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP and by those, like Plaintiff, who are "incarcerated or detained in any facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program, " "as soon as practicable after docketing." See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). Under these provisions of the PLRA, the Court must sua sponte dismiss complaints, or any portions thereof, which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or which seek damages from defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A.

All complaints 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)).

B. 42 U.S.C. § 1983

"Section 1983 creates a private right of action against individuals who, acting under color of state law, violate federal constitutional or statutory rights." Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1074 (9th Cir. 2001). "To establish § 1983 liability, a plaintiff must show both (1) deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and (2) that the deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law." Tsao v. Desert Palace, Inc., 698 F.3d 1128, 1138 (9th Cir. 2012).

C. Defendants no longer named

In his SAC, Plaintiff no longer names as Defendants Calipatria State Prison, G.W. Janda and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Thus, the claims against these Defendants are waived and the Clerk of Court is directed to terminate these Defendants from the docket. See King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987).

D. Grievance procedures

Plaintiff seeks to hold Defendants Morales, Builteman, Martel and Lozano liable for constitutional violations based on their handling of his administrative grievances. ( See SAC at 2-3, 5.) The Fourteenth Amendment provides that: "[n]o state shall... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, § 1. "The requirements of procedural due process apply only to the deprivation of interests encompassed by the Fourteenth Amendment's protection of liberty and property." Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 569 (1972). State statutes and prison regulations may grant prisoners liberty or property interests sufficient to invoke due process protection. Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 223-27 (1976). To state a procedural due process claim, Plaintiff must allege: "(1) a liberty or property interest protected by the Constitution; (2) a deprivation of the interest by the government; [and] (3) lack of process." Wright v. Riveland, 219 F.3d 905, 913 (9th Cir. 2000).

However, the Ninth Circuit has held that prisoners have no protected property interest in an inmate grievance procedure arising directly from the Due Process Clause. See Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 869 (9th Cir. 2003) ("[I]nmates lack a separate constitutional entitlement to a specific prison grievance procedure") (citing Mann v. Adams, 855 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1988) (finding that the due process clause ...


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