United States District Court, E.D. California
Kendall J. Newman, Judge
is a state prisoner, proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks
relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and has requested
leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. This proceeding was referred to this court by
Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Plaintiff consented to proceed before the undersigned for all
purposes. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in
forma pauperis will be granted.
is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial
filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct
the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing
fee from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the
Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated
to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's trust account.
payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to the
Clerk of the Court each time the amount in plaintiff's
account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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
or malicious, ” 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. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221,
1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous when it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The
critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however
inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis.
See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir.
1989), superseded by statute as stated in Lopez
v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000)
(“[A] judge may dismiss [in forma pauperis] claims
which are based on indisputably meritless legal theories or
whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.”);
Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
“requires only ‘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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). In order to survive dismissal for
failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. at 555. However, “[s]pecific
facts are not necessary; the statement [of facts] need only
‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)
(quoting Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555, citations
and internal quotations marks omitted).
reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must
accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question,
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93, and construe the pleading
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other
grounds, Davis v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984).
Plaintiff's Complaint Plaintiff alleges that
“all of the named defendants” . . .
“allowed the conditions of confinement to transgress
the substantive limits of the concept of human dignity by
allowing the plaintiff to consume toxic water that gave him
Hepatitis.” (ECF No. 1 at 3.) Plaintiff claims that the
correctional officers at the Yuba County Jail were improperly
trained because they denied inmates proper exercise by coming
in at 4:00 a.m. and asking if the inmates wanted yard,
depriving them of proper sleep and exercise. In addition,
plaintiff states he made several requests to be treated
because he felt ill and had severe yellow jaundice, but the
correctional officers would not let plaintiff go to medical.
Plaintiff names as defendants the Sheriff of Yuba County, the
Yuba County Jail Commander, the Municipal Yuba County Jail,
and all employees at the Yuba County Jail.
following reasons, the court finds the allegations in
plaintiff's complaint so vague and conclusory that the
court is unable to determine whether the current action is
frivolous or fails to state a claim for relief.
plaintiff fails to name proper defendants. Plaintiff cannot
simply name “all employees at the Yuba County
Jail” or “all correctional officers” as
defendants. Rather, plaintiff must specifically identify the
individual who allegedly violated his constitutional rights
so that the court may order service of process by the U.S.
States Marshal. Without providing a name, the Marshal is
unable to serve the defendant.
plaintiff fails to identify what each defendant did or did
not do that allegedly violated plaintiff's constitutional
rights. Plaintiff does not allege whether he was a pretrial
detainee or a state inmate in the custody of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”) during his housing at the jail.
Plaintiff does not provide dates for either the alleged
constitutional violations or for his jail housing. Plaintiff
does not allege how long the alleged violations took place.
However, the CDCR inmate locator reflects that plaintiff was
admitted to state custody on September 20, 2005; thus, if
plaintiff was housed at the Yuba County Jail sometime after
2005, he was in state custody, and the Eighth Amendment would
govern his exercise and medical claims.