United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
(ECF No. 1)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Screening Requirement and Standard
Ricardo Martinez (“Plaintiff”) is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff initiated this action on October 23, 2015 in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California. (ECF No. 1.) The matter was transferred to this
Court on January 15, 2016, and received on January 20, 2016.
(ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff’s complaint, filed on October
23, 2015, is currently before the court for screening. (ECF
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against
an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Plaintiff’s complaint, or any portion
thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(A)(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a
plaintiff’s allegations are taken as true, courts
“are not required to indulge unwarranted
inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted).
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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss
v. United States Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th
Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted
unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with
liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility
standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949
(quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
Courts are required to liberally construe pro se prisoner
complaints. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97
S.Ct. 285, 292 (1976).
is a state prisoner currently housed at Corcoran State Prison
in Corcoran, California, where the events at issue are
alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff names as defendants: (1)
D. Davey, Warden; (2) an unnamed Chief Medical Officer; (3)
an unnamed Medical Executive; and (4) unnamed John Doe and
Jane Doe staff and sworn officials. Plaintiff alleges as
I’m under multiple violations of my right 1st 5th 6th
14th amendment hindering outgoing mail, denied adequate
medical care, 8th amendment violation victim of assault and
battery. Having problem with my back, need a cane to walk. I
receive injury, breach of contract. I completed int[e]rnal
administrative process. Is medical malpractice. See attach
declaration and/or summary judgment is required.”
(ECF No. 1, p. 3.)
Plaintiff references a declaration in his statement of his
claim, the Court was unable to locate any declaration in his
attachments to the complaint, which totaled approximately 130
seeks monetary damages, and sues the defendants in their
official and individual capacities.
Deficiencies of Complaint
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, 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). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal
conclusions are not. Id.; see also Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556-557; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
complaint is sparse and relies primarily on attached
exhibits, with no factual allegations underlying his claims.
Although he claims several different violations of his
rights, his allegations are conclusory and fail to describe
any specific actions or inactions by the defendants.
Plaintiff elects to amend his complaint, he must set forth
factual allegations against each named defendant sufficient
to state a claim, including what each person did or did not
do that resulted in a violation of his rights. Further, the
court is not required to sift through Plaintiff’s
exhibits and attachments in an effort to determine what
plaintiff's claim(s) are. If he chooses to add
attachments or exhibits to any amended complaint (which he is
not required to do), Plaintiff must identify them for the
Court and explain their significance.
Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:
Every person who, under color of [state law] ... subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States ...
to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution ... shall be liable to the party
injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper
proceeding for redress.
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 Plaintiff. See Monell v. Department of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611
(1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 96 S.Ct. 598,
46 L.Ed.2d 561 (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 ...