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Pao v. Superior Court County of Fresno

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 29, 2015

CHERTA LEE PAO, Plaintiff,
v.
SUPERIOR COURT COUNTY OF FRESNO, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 1)

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF Nos. 1 & 4.) Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6.) No other parties have appeared in the action.

Plaintiff's complaint is before the Court for screening.

I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

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, 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).

II. 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.

III. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is detained at Fresno County Jail. He names the following Defendants: (1) Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno, (2) Fresno City Police, (3) Fresno County Sherriff's Office (Jail Division) Administration, and (4) Sherriff Margaret Mims.

Plaintiff's allegations can be summarized essentially as follows:

Plaintiff was arrested by the Fresno Police Department. The Fresno Police Department does not exist. The officers were impersonating Fresno City Police, but actually were fake, unauthorized officers from Los Angeles County.

The arresting officers made false charges against Plaintiff and printed a fake arrest report. Plaintiff received a booking report ...


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