United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER: (1) DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR
SEEKING MONETARY DAMAGES AGAINST IMMUNE DEFENDANTS PURSUANT
TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b); and (2)
DENYING MOTION TO INTRODUCE PROOF OF SERVICE AS MOOT
Anthony J. Battaglia United States District Judge
September 21, 2016, Michael Allen France
(“Plaintiff”), a state inmate currently
incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison, filed a civil rights
complaint (“Compl.”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (ECF No. 1.) He sought an injunction from the Governor
of California preventing “any further warrants of
arrests to be issued on me, ” $55, 000 in compensatory
damages, $14, 000, 000 in punitive damages and the
termination of his parole agent, Defendant Joseph Singleton.
(Compl. at 7.)
also filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
(ECF No. 2.) The Court GRANTED Plaintiff's Motion to
Proceed IFP but simultaneously DISMISSED his Complaint for
failing to state a claim, as frivolous and for seeking
monetary damages against immune defendants. (ECF No. 8 at
7-9.) Plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended pleading
and on January 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed his First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”). (ECF No. 12.) In addition,
Plaintiff has filed a “Motion to Introduce Proof of
Service” which is DENIED as moot in light of the
Court's Order below dismissing the entire action. (ECF
Sua Sponte Screening per 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and
“The Court shall review, before docketing, if feasible
or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing,
” complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP, and
by those, like Plaintiff, who are “incarcerated or
detained in any facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or
adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the
terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release,
or diversionary program.” See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). The Court must sua
sponte dismiss complaints, or any portions thereof, which are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or which seek
damages from defendants who are immune. See 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).
1983 creates a private right of action against individuals
who, acting under color of state law, violate federal
constitutional or statutory rights.” Devereaux v.
Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1074 (9th Cir. 2001). Section 1983
“is not itself a source of substantive rights, but
merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred.” Graham v. Connor, 490
U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989) (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted). “To establish § 1983
liability, a plaintiff must show both (1) deprivation of a
right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United
States, and (2) that the deprivation was committed by a
person acting under color of state law.” Tsao v.
Desert Palace, Inc., 698 F.3d 1128, 1138 (9th Cir.
Freedom of Religion  claims
Court finds that a majority of Plaintiff's allegations,
while far from clear, are borderline frivolous under §
1915(e)(2) and § 1915A. Plaintiff objects to a number of
the parole conditions enforced by Defendants, including but
not limited to, requiring Plaintiff to “live in a
residential treatment facility for 90 days and then a sober
living house for 180 days.” (FAC at 3.) Plaintiff
claims he “attempted to go to a 90 day inpatient
treatment center 4 or 5 times” but he “had enough
of their attempted indoctrination that would leave a person
to believe that loving God and using drugs are mutually
exclusive.” (Id. at 4.) He further alleges
that his religion of “Here and Nowism” believes
that “spiritual beings were put into chemically
dependent bodies and are required to figure out what
chemicals they can use and remain kind.” (Id.
complaint, containing as it does both factual allegations and
legal conclusions, is frivolous where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact....[The] term
‘frivolous, ' when applied to a complaint, embraces
not only the inarguable legal conclusion, but also the
fanciful factual allegation.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A pleading is
“factual[ly] frivolous[ ]” under §
1915(e)(2) § 1915A(b)(1) if “the facts alleged
rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible,
whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts
available to contradict them.” Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). When determining
whether a complaint is frivolous, the court need not accept
the allegations as true, but must “pierce the veil of
the complaint's factual allegations, ”
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327, to determine whether they
are “ ‘fanciful, ' ‘fantastic, '
[or] ‘delusional, '” Denton, 504
U.S. at 33 (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325-28).
these standards to the allegations Plaintiff's FAC, the
Court finds that Plaintiff's freedom of religion claims
may be frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
§ 1915A(b)(1). See Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d
903, 920 n.1 (9th Cir. 2014).
of whether Plaintiff's religious beliefs are
“sincerely held, ” to the extent that Plaintiff
seeks money damages against his parole agent, or his
agent's supervisor for alleged constitutional violations,
the Court finds the constitutional claims against these
Defendants must be dismissed for seeking damages against
defendants who are immune pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) & (iii).
Singleton and Garcia are entitled to absolute immunity for
claims of money damages relating to allegations of imposing
unconstitutional parole conditions. See Thornton v.
Brown,757 F.3d 834, 840 (9th Cir. 2013). The Ninth
Circuit has held “absolute immunity “extend[s] to
parole officials for the ‘imposition of parole
conditions' because that task is ‘integrally
related to an official's decision to grant or revoke
parole, ' which is a ‘quasi-judicial