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Kabede v. Director's Level Chief of Inmate Appeals

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 27, 2017

WONDIYRAD KABEDE, Plaintiff,
v.
DIRECTOR'S LEVEL CHIEF OF INMATE APPEALS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge. (ECF No. 3.) His first amended complaint is before the court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement

         The in forma pauperis statute provides, “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 brings this suit against a number of defendants for conduct that occurred while he was housed at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California[1]: Correctional Counselor B. Friend, Sergeant W. Griffith, Appeals Coordinators K. Chambers and W. McCullough, Chief of the Director's Level Appeals R.L. Briggs, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) Secretary Jeffrey Beard.

         Plaintiff's allegations may be fairly summarized as follows:

         Plaintiff alleges that during his first eight years of incarceration, he received no CDCR 115 Disciplinary Rule Violation Reports (“RVR”). After those eight years, he was transferred to San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California, where he received his first RVR. He was then transferred to New Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California, where he received 11 RVRs, and then transferred to Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California, where he received another 11 RVRs. Each of these RVRs was written within a 30-day period upon arrival at the new institution.

         Plaintiff claims these RVRs were issued “to jack-up my classification score point to keep me at maximum security to get me killed.” He also claims he was housed with a mentally ill inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison “to get me raped and killed several times….” The amended complaint suggests that some of the RVRs that he received are related to his refusal to accept cell mates “to protect [his] life.” Finally, plaintiff accuses “someone from parole board” of ordering “underground to give me CDC 115 Rule Violation to deny me hearing and parole.”

         Plaintiff's amended complaint does not address the defendants' involvement in the violation of his rights. Rather, this pleading references attachments to his original complaint, which provide context for the involvement of the named defendants. These attachments include an allegedly false RVR filed by defendant B. Friend at Ironwood State Prison accusing plaintiff of entering her office without permission. The attachments also include (a) a grievance filed by plaintiff concerning the RVR, (b) the responses to that grievance by Ironwood State Prison employees and defendants ...


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