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Ricchio v. Hughes

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 22, 2016

K. HUGHES, et al., Defendants.


         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's February 19, 2016, second amended complaint, filed in response to the January 21, 2016, order dismissing the first amended complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 20.)[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 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.


         Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) and Rehabilitation at the Central California Women's Facility (CCWF), brings this action against correctional officials employed by the CDCR at CCWF and the California Institute for Women (CIW). Plaintiff names the following individual defendants: D. Johnson, CCWF Warden; K. Hughes, CIW Warden; CIW Appeals Coordinator Crawford; J. Sobel, CDCR Counsel in Sacramento; Board of Parole Hearing (BPH) Deputy Commissioner T. Ohara; CCWF Sergeant Perez; CCWF Litigation Coordinator Smith; CCWF Appeals Coordinator B. Fortner. Plaintiff's claims stem from the denial of her requests to be transferred back to CIW and the denial of parole.

         Plaintiff's second amended complaint sets forth rambling legal arguments, interspersed with vague and conclusory factual allegations. Plaintiff appears to allege that false information was placed in her central file, rendering her unsuitable for parole. Plaintiff also alleges that there was some agreement to transfer her back to CIW, and appears to seek enforcement of that agreement. Plaintiff also alleges that she was placed in disciplinary housing without a hearing, resulting in the loss of her personal property. Plaintiff also alleges that officials were interfering with her right to file administrative grievances regarding adverse actions.

         Plaintiff essentially re-states the allegations of the first amended complaint. Plaintiff divides her causes of actions into separate categories. Plaintiff's first statement of claim refers to an unspecified settlement agreement in another case, alleging that sealed information “eviscerates” a 2012 settlement agreement. (ECF No. 21, p. 7.) Plaintiff's second claim is that the BPH relief on false information in denying her a parole eligibility date. Plaintiff's third claim is that she was placed into disciplinary housing without a hearing, and while she was in disciplinary housing, another inmate stole her personal property. Plaintiff's fourth and fifth claims appear to be a re-statement of her claim regarding the 2012 settlement agreement. The claims refer to some unspecified agreement to transfer Plaintiff back to CIW.


         The Civil Rights Act under which this action proceeds provides for liability for state actors that cause “the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution.” 42 U.S.C.§ 1983. The statute plainly requires that there be an actual connection or link between the actions of the defendants, and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered by the plaintiff. See Monell v. Dept. of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976). The Ninth Circuit has held that “[a] person „subjects' another to the deprivation 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 complaint is made.” Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978).

         A. Venue

         The Court initially notes that Plaintiff names Defendants employed by the CDCR at CCWF and CIW. CIW is located in Corona, in the Central District of California. The federal venue statute requires that a civil action, other than one based on diversity jurisdiction, be brought only in “(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same state, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subjection of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). The decision to transfer venue of a civil action under § 1404(a) lies soundly within the discretion of the trial court. Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000). The Court ...

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