United States District Court, N.D. California
Michael John Gaddy, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
ORDER OF SERVICE
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, Jr., District Judge.
a California prisoner incarcerated at California State
Prison, Sacramento and proceeding pro se, filed this
civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 alleging
constitutional violations at Pelican Bay State Prison
("PBSP"), where he was previously incarcerated.
Plaintiff is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a
separate order. His complaint is now before the Court for
review under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915A.
Standard of Review
federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915A(a). In its review, the court
must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims
that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. Â§ 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must,
however, be liberally construed. See Balistreri
v. Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only "give the defendant
fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 127
S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in
order to state a claim a complaint "does not need
detailed factual allegations, ... a plaintiff's
obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level." Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65
(2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer
"enough facts to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face." Id. at 1974.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 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).
alleges that M. Townsend, an appeals coordinator at PBSP, and
M. Voong and Officer Sandoval, both chief inmate appeals
officers with the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation, retaliated against him in violation of his
First Amendment rights when they wrongly cancelled or
otherwise impermissibly interfered with the processing of his
prison grievances. When liberally construed, these
allegations state claims under Section 1983 and shall
potential liability of defendants is under the First
Amendment, and is not under the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause. There is no
constitutional right to a prison or jail administrative
appeal or grievance system in California, and therefore no
due process liability for failing to process or decide an
inmate appeal properly. See Ramirez v.
Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003); Mann v.
Adams, 855 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1988). If a defendant
only denied an inmate appeal about a problem that already had
occurred and was complete, there would be no liability for a
constitutional violation; however, where the problem is
ongoing and the request is made in an inmate appeal to remedy
the ongoing problem, liability can be based on the denial of
an inmate appeal, just as it could be based on the denial of
a verbal request from the inmate. Cf. Jett v.
Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1098 (9th Cir. 2006) (supervisor may
be liable for deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need, for instance, if he or she fails to respond to a
prisoner's request for help).
foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows:
Clerk of the Court shall issue summons and the United States
Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of
the complaint (Docket No. 1), and a copy of this order upon
the following defendants: (1) M. Townsend at Pelican Bay
State Prison; and (2) M. Voong ...