United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
C. SPERO CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed this
federal civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
complaint lacks sufficient factual detail and it is unclear
who the proper defendants are. Accordingly, after conducting
a review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court DISMISSES
the complaint with leave to file an amended complaint on or
before August 15, 2016.
Standard of Review
initial review of this pro se complaint, this Court must
dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious, or fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Pro se
pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
“complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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.
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).
allegations are nearly incomprehensible. It appears that
plaintiff alleges his jailors are violating his First
Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Exactly how
or who is doing this is quite unclear. Plaintiff names
supervisory defendants, e.g., the Governor of California, but
alleges no specific facts showing that they are liable. In
his amended complaint, plaintiff must allege specific facts,
such as names, dates, places, a description of the actions
taken or words spoken, what religious activity was interfered
Court instructs plaintiff to carefully consider the
following. It is very difficult to plead claims against
persons based on their role as supervisors, especially where,
as here, there are no facts showing that any of these persons
had a personal involvement in any of the allegedly
unconstitutional acts. There is no respondeat superior
liability under § 1983, see Taylor v. List, 880
F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989), which means that a person is
not automatically held responsible simply because he or she
is a supervisor of an employee who commits a wrong. It is not
enough that the supervisor merely has a supervisory
relationship over the defendants; the plaintiff must show
that the supervisor “participated in or directed the
violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to
prevent them.” Id. (emphasis added).
Furthermore, supervisor defendants are entitled to qualified
immunity where the allegations against them are simply
“bald” or “conclusory” because such
allegations do not “plausibly” establish the
supervisors' personal involvement in their
subordinates' constitutional wrong. Iqbal, 129
U.S. at 675-82. There is nothing in the complaint that
indicates personal knowledge or involvement.
recommended that plaintiff focus his allegations on the
persons he had direct contact with, such as prison guards. He
is encouraged to carefully consider the following when
amending his complaint. “A person deprives another
'of a constitutional right, within the meaning of section
1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in
another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act
which he is legally required to do that causes the
deprivation of which [the plaintiff complains].”
Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988)
(quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th
Cir. 1978)). The inquiry into causation must be
individualized and focus on the duties and responsibilities
of each individual defendant whose acts or omissions are
alleged to have caused a constitutional deprivation.
complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend. Plaintiff
shall file an amended complaint on or before August 8,
2016. The first amended complaint must include the
caption and civil case number used in this order (16-2518 JCS
(PR)) and the words FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT on the first
page. It must address all deficiencies discussed above.
Because an amended complaint completely replaces the previous
complaints, plaintiff must include in his first amended
complaint all the claims he wishes to present and all of the
defendants he wishes to sue. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet,
963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). Plaintiff may not
incorporate material from the prior complaint by reference.
Any claims not raised ...