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Brown v. Peterson

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 31, 2015

EDRICK BROWN, Plaintiff,
PETERSON, et al., Defendants.


DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Edrick Brown ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action, filed on May 12, 2014. Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on November 5, 2014. He names Librarians Karlow and Peterson, Correctional Counselor Schoolcraft, Correctional Officer Gutierrez and Correctional Sgt. Bailey as Defendants.[1]


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 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).

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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

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 v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). To state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-77, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones, 297 F.3d at 934. This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.


Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison. The events at issue occurred while Plaintiff was housed at California Correctional Institute ("CCI").

Plaintiff alleges that he was housed in B-Yard, and had a court deadline and Priority Legal User ("PLU") status approval for over four months, but Defendant Peterson only granted him law library access one time to conduct research. Plaintiff requested an extension of time from the court, and was granted ninety days. However, Defendant Peterson only called Plaintiff "a couple" of times during the ninety days. ECF No. 8, at 3.

Plaintiff contends that because Defendant Peterson prevented access to the law library, Plaintiff requested, and received, another ninety day extension. However, the court indicated that no further extensions would be granted.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Peterson continued to prevent access, even though he knew of Plaintiff's deadline.

On October 8, 2009, Plaintiff was transferred to A-Yard without any property. He immediately informed staff of his October 29, 2009, deadline. Plaintiff had to finish a traverse for the Eastern District by October 29, 2009, but the traverse was in his property.

After numerous attempts to retrieve his property and gain access to the law library, A-Yard librarian Defendant Karlow went to Plaintiff's cell on October 15, 2009. There, Plaintiff told Defendant Karlow of his October 29, 2009, deadline, showed him a document from the Eastern District to prove his deadline, and told him that he was transferred to A-Yard without his property. Plaintiff also told Defendant Karlow of his PLU status, which had already been approved by B-Yard librarian Defendant Peterson prior to Plaintiff's transfer. Defendant Karlow admitted that he knew about Plaintiff's deadline since Defendant Schoolcraft contacted him on October 8, 2009. Defendant Karlow told Plaintiff that he would immediately contact staff in charge of property, and guaranteed him access to the law library when he received his materials.

Plaintiff alleges that due to Defendant Peterson's and Karlow's "deliberate indifference, " he received approximately eight hours of law library access within a seven-month period of time to prepare his traverse. Plaintiff contends that he was forced to file an unfinished and inadequate traverse, which ...

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