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Windham v. Davies

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 3, 2015

CHARLES W. WINDHAM, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVE DAVIES, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1)

STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff is a state prisoner appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, filed October 7, 2014.

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 or malicious, " that "fail[] to state a claim on which relief may be granted, " or that "seek[] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief" 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

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)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams , 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman , 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient, and "facts that are merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678; Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

II.

COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is a state prisoner housed at California State Prison, Corcoran. Plaintiff brings this action against Warden Dave Davies, and Correctional Officers T. Cano, R. Rubio, and J. Vargas alleging denial of access to the court in violation of the First Amendment, denial of due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") violations, as well as state law claims.

Plaintiff alleges that on September 4, 2014, Defendant Cano was collecting mail and opened and began reading his legal mail. (Compl. ¶¶ 1, 2, ECF No. 1.) When Plaintiff informed Defendant Cano that it was unlawful for him to read Plaintiff's legal mail, Defendant Cano pushed the mail back into the call stating it was not legal mail and he would not accept it. (Id. at ¶ 2.) Plaintiff told Defendant Cano that he was going to write a staff complaint regarding the incident. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Defendant Cano told Plaintiff, "Wait'll we tear your house (i.e. cell) up. This is Corcoran." (Id. at ¶ 4.) Defendant Cano then "flashed the CDCR GreenWall Guard Gang" handsign. (Id.)

The following day, Plaintiff left his cell for his assignment and when he returned at 3:30 p.m. he found that his cell had been trashed; he and his cellmate's items were mixed-up and left in disarray. (Id. at ¶¶ 5, 7.) Another inmate told Plaintiff that Defendant Rubio and Vargas entered his cell with a plastic trash can immediately after he left and began searching and trashing his cell, took a lot of property and discarded it. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Defendants Rubio and Vargas made several trips by Plaintiff's cell and looked in at him while laughing, smiling, and " throwing' Greg Wall Gang" handsigns at Plaintiff. (Id.)

When Defendant Rubio brought search receipts to Plaintiff, he told Plaintiff that Defendant Cano is one of them, and this is Corcoran. (Id. at 119.) When Plaintiff reorganized his cell he noticed that his trial books for his "Borden § 1983 & other cases" were gone. (Id. at ¶ 10.) The trial books had been inside Plaintiff's locker when he left the cell that day for his assignment. (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff requested that Defendants Rubio and Vargas return his trial books, but they refused to do so. (Id. at ¶ 12.)

About September 7, 2014, Plaintiff notified the Central District court that he was unable to prosecute the Bordon § 1983 action due to the trial books that had been taken by Defendants Rubio and Vargas. (Id. at ¶ 17.) Plaintiff contends that, with the dismissal of the Bordon § 1983 action, he has sustained actual injury. (Id. at ¶ 18.)

III.

DISCUSSION

A. Linkage

Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead , 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles , 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones , 297 F.3d at 934. To state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678-79; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz. , 609 ...


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