United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, has filed a pro
se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff is granted in forma pauperis
status in a separate order. For the reasons stated below, the
complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend.
Standard of Review
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any
cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which 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. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed.
Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d
696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
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 deprivation was committed by a
person acting under the color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
complaint, plaintiff claims that on January 22, 2014,
defendant Hobbicraft Manager Andre Williams improperly
confiscated without notice a painting that plaintiff created.
Andre Williams demanded that plaintiff make changes to the
painting, and that plaintiff would not be able to mail or
place the painting in Andre Williams’ hobby store until
plaintiff had complied. Plaintiff intended to send the
painting to plaintiff’s attorney.
are several deficiencies with this complaint. First,
plaintiff names not only Hobbicraft Manager Andre Williams as
a defendant, but he also names Appeals Coordinator M. Davis,
Appeals Coordinator R. Baxter, Sgt. E. Patao, Counselor V.
Stanford, and Warden Kevin Chappell. However, plaintiff does
not link these other defendants with any particular
wrongdoing. Plaintiff is advised that there is no
constitutional right to a prison administrative appeal or
grievance system. See Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d
850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003). A prison official’s failure
to process grievances, without more, accordingly is not
actionable under Section 1983. See Buckley v.
Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993); see also
Ramirez, 334 F.3d at 860 (holding that prisoner’s
claimed loss of a liberty interest in the processing of his
appeals does not violate due process because prisoners lack a
separate constitutional entitlement to a specific prison
grievance system). Liability may be imposed on an individual
defendant under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 if the plaintiff can
show that the defendant’s actions both actually and
proximately caused the deprivation of a federally protected
right. See Lemire v. Cal. Dept. of Corrections &
Rehabilitation, 726 F.3d 1062, 1085 (9th Cir. 2013).
Without proffering facts that may be construed to reasonably
show that any of these defendants caused some violation,
plaintiff has not stated a cognizable claim against them.
Accordingly, Appeals Coordinator M. Davis, Appeals
Coordinator R. Baxter, Sgt. E. Patao, Counselor V. Stanford,
and Warden Kevin Chappell are dismissed. If plaintiff
believes he can allege a cognizable claim against them in
good faith, he may amend his complaint to do so.
the court cannot determine whether the confiscation of
property was random and unauthorized or pursuant to an
established state procedure. Ordinarily, due process of law
requires notice and an opportunity for some kind of hearing
prior to the deprivation of a significant property interest.
See Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div. v. Craft,
436 U.S. 1, 19 (1978). Neither the negligent nor intentional
deprivation of property states a due process claim under
Section 1983 if the deprivation was random or unauthorized,
however. See Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535-44
(1981) (state employee negligently lost prisoner’s
hobby kit), overruled in part on other grounds,
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 330-31 (1986);
Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984)
(intentional destruction of inmate’s property). The
availability of an adequate state post-deprivation remedy,
e.g., a state tort action, precludes relief because it
provides sufficient procedural due process. See Zinermon
v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 128 (1990) (where state cannot
foresee, and therefore provide meaningful hearing prior to,
deprivation statutory provision for post-deprivation hearing
or common law tort remedy for erroneous deprivation satisfies
due process). If the deprivation is not random or
unauthorized, but the result of “established state
procedure, ” the availability of a post-termination
tort action does not necessarily provide due process. See
Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. 422, 435-37
(1982) (failure on part of state commission to hold hearing
within statutory time limits not permitted to terminate
timely filed claim). Parratt does not apply where
the state has procedures designed to control the actions of
state officials and the officials act pursuant to those
procedures. See Zimmerman v. City of Oakland, 255
F.3d 734, 738 (9th Cir. 2001). In other words, due process
may be violated where a deprivation is predictable and
pre-deprivation process possible, but state officials, acting
under apparent authority of state procedures, provide no
pre-deprivation procedure and are specifically charged with
the authority to effect the deprivation complained of.
See Id. at 739.
above reasons, the complaint will be dismissed with leave to
amend so that plaintiff may clarify and explain in a concise
statement of facts what Andre Williams did, and how it
violated plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Federal
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.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). The court is not
required to sift through plaintiff’s exhibits and
attachments in an effort to determine what plaintiff’s
claim(s) are. Plaintiff must set forth coherent, legally
viable claims to “allow the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
as currently pled, plaintiff has failed to state a claim for
relief. Plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED. The court
will give plaintiff an opportunity to amend his complaint to
state a claim for relief if he can do so in good faith.
complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend. The amended
complaint must be filed within twenty-eight (28) days of the
date this order is filed and must include the caption and
civil case number used in this order and the words AMENDED
COMPLAINT on the first page. Because an amended complaint
completely replaces the original complaint, plaintiff must
include in it all the claims he wishes to present. See
Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992).
He may not incorporate material from the original complaint