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Taylor v. Boyd

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 23, 2017

KEVIN TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
KELLY BOYD, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          HON. KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Kevin Taylor (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”). In the FAC, Plaintiff claims defendants Kelly Boyd and RMI International (“Defendants”) violated his First, Eighth, Eleventh, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. As discussed below, the Court dismisses the FAC with leave to amend for failure to state a claim.

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 26, 2017, Plaintiff, who is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Wasco State Prison, constructively filed1 a Complaint pursuant to Section 1983, against Defendants. ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 1, Compl. Plaintiff appeared to sue two private-party defendants for violations of his First, Eighth, Eleventh, and Fourteenth Amendment rights based upon an alleged incident that occurred at Watts Towers on October 7, 2016. Id. Specifically, Plaintiff raised claims against (1) defendant RMI International, a private security company responsible for security at Watts Towers in Watts, California; and (2) defendant Boyd, an employee of RMI International who was responsible for security at Watts Towers on the day of the alleged incident. Id. at 1.

         On February 22, 2017, the Court dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dkt. 8, Order. The Court found Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against Defendants failed because he did not allege any facts that Defendants were acting under color of state law. Id. at 5.

         On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant FAC. Dkt. 10.

         III. ALLEGATIONS IN FAC

         In the FAC, Plaintiff again attempts to raise a Section 1983 claim against a private person, defendant Boyd, and a private party, RMI International, based upon the same October 7, 2016 incident referenced in the Complaint. Id. at 2. Plaintiff alleges defendant Boyd used excessive force and misused his authority, causing Plaintiff constant pain and anxiety. Id. Specifically, Plaintiff claims defendant Boyd “threw [Plaintiff] to the ground”; “jump[ed] on [his] back, making [him] cough up blood”; and “socked [him] in [the] mouth breaking [his] front tooth and back teeth.” Id. at 5. Additionally, Plaintiff alleges defendant RMI International 1 Under the “mailbox rule, ” when a pro se inmate gives prison authorities a pleading to mail to court, the court deems the pleading constructively “filed” on the date it is signed. Roberts v. Marshall, 627 F.3d 768, 770 n.1 (9th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted); Douglas v. Noelle, 567 F.3d 1103, 1107 (9th Cir. 2009) (stating the “mailbox rule applies to § 1983 suits filed by pro se prisoners”). should be held liable because it is “responsible for its employee's actions while on duty.” Id.

         Plaintiff seeks $100, 000 from each defendant, an order to have defendant Boyd “relieved from his job at RMI International, ” and an order requiring Defendants to write an apology to Plaintiff. Id. at 6.

         IV. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         As Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must screen the FAC and is required to dismiss the case at any time if it concludes the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).

         In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim for screening purposes, the Court applies the same pleading standard from Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rule 8”) as it would when evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 8(a), 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).

         A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim “where there is no cognizable legal theory or an absence of sufficient facts alleged to support a cognizable legal theory.” Zamani v. Carnes, 491 F.3d 990, 996 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). In considering whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as true all of the material factual allegations in it. Hamilton v. Brown, 630 F.3d 889, 892-93 (9th Cir. 2011). However, the court need not accept as true “allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” In re Gilead Scis. Sec. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). Although a complaint need not include detailed factual allegations, it “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Cook v. Brewer, 637 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing Ashcr ...


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