United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IFP AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He seeks leave to
proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court
directed the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect
and forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing
fee as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
Screening Requirement and Standards
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). The court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)).
the complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
complaint (ECF No. 1), plaintiff alleges that defendants
Herrera and Dashiel transported him in a van without securing
his seatbelt. Plaintiff does not allege whether this was a
deliberate choice by the transporting officers or simply an
oversight. Nor does he allege whether he was shackled or
unable to secure his own seatbelt. Defendant Herrera
allegedly accelerated and then slammed on the brakes in order
to avoid hitting another transportation van, driven by
defendant Ponce. The sudden stop allegedly caused plaintiff
to be thrown to the floor and to sustain serious injuries.
Plaintiff claims that the transportation officers were racing
each other to the clinic pursuant to an
“underground” policy. See ECF No. 1
¶ 25 (alleging that the transportation officers do not
want to arrive last because arriving last requires more
paperwork and longer shifts). In addition to defendants
Dashiel, Herrera, and Ponce, the complaint names numerous
supervisory officials as defendants. Under the applicable
standards discussed below, these allegations fail to state a
cognizable claim. To proceed, plaintiff must file an amended
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (1)
the violation of a federal constitutional or statutory right;
and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting
under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d
930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). An individual defendant is not
liable on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish the
defendant's personal involvement in the constitutional
deprivation or a causal connection between the
defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged
constitutional deprivation. See Hansen v. Black, 885
F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989); Johnson v. Duffy, 588
F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978).
may not sue any official on the theory that the official is
liable for the unconstitutional conduct of his or her
subordinates. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937,
1948 (2009). Because respondeat superior liability is
inapplicable to § 1983 suits, “a plaintiff must
plead that each Government-official defendant, through the
official's own individual actions, has violated the