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Miller v. Kernan

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 6, 2017

JARROD JOSEPH MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT KERNAN, Defendant.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND ECF NO. 10) DISMISSAL COUNTS AS A STRIKE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(G) CLERK TO TERMINATE ALL PENDING MOTIONS AND CLOSE CASE

          MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. No other parties have appeared in the action.

         The Court screened Plaintiff's complaint, found that it failed to state a claim, and dismissed it with leave to amend. (ECF No. 6.) His first amended complaint is before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 10.)

         I. Screening Requirement

         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, malicious, ” or that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         II. Pleading Standard

         Section 1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

         To state a claim under § 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); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

         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)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 677-78.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (“SATF”), but complains of acts that occurred at San Quentin State Prison, High Desert State Prison, and SATF. He names Scott Kernan, Secretary of CDCR, as the sole named defendant. He also names “Multiple John Does.” Plaintiff's first amended complaint is substantially similar to his initial complaint. Plaintiff states that, at some point, at an undisclosed institution, he was questioned by correctional officers who threatened to house him with an inmate who would rape him if he did not answer their questions. Plaintiff refuses to identify the officers or the institution out of fear of retaliation. As a result of that encounter, Plaintiff believes he must be housed in a single cell. Transferring Plaintiff to another unit or prison, or placing him in Administrative Segregation is insufficient. Only single cell housing will do.

         The majority of his complaint is comprised of boilerplate legal standards and generalized allegations regarding the risks of double-celling in prisons, as well as the lack of privacy and other indecencies.

         He seeks an injunction placing him on permanent single cell status as well as money damages.

         IV. ...


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