United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AS
FRIVOLOUS AND FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 1915(E)(2) AND § 1915A(B)
ANTHONY J. BATTAGLIA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
21, 2016, Plaintiff, Kyle James, currently incarcerated at
the California State Prison - Los Angeles County located in
Lancaster, California, filed a civil rights Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (ECF No. 1) and a Motion to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a) (ECF No. 2). Because Plaintiff's
Motion to Proceed IFP complied with 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(2), the Court granted him leave to proceed without
full prepayment of the civil filing fees required by 28
U.S.C. § 1914(a), but dismissed his Complaint for
failing to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(b). On November 16, 2016,
Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”). (ECF No. 6.) In this FAC, Plaintiff
names only Defendant Barbara Lee, John Doe Doctor, Jane Doe
Doctor and “S.D.C.J. Med. Supervisor” as
Court, once again, dismissed Plaintiff's FAC on the
grounds that he failed to state a claim and as frivolous
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(b).
(ECF No. 8.) On March 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Second
Amended Complaint (“SAC”). In his SAC, Plaintiff
again names Barbara Lee as a Defendant but also adds
Defendants Kania and Harvel.
Legal Standards for Screening Complaint Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b)
Plaintiff is a prisoner and is proceeding IFP, his FAC
requires a pre-Answer screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(b). Under these statutes, the
Court must sua sponte dismiss a prisoner's IFP complaint,
or any portion of it, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim, or seeks damages from defendants who are
immune. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27
(9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004
(9th Cir. 2010) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)).
“The purpose of [screening] is ‘to ensure that
the targets of frivolous or malicious suits need not bear the
expense of responding.'” Nordstrom v.
Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 920 n.1 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d
680, 681 (7th Cir. 2012)).
standard for determining whether a plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as the Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) standard for failure to state a
claim.” Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112
(9th Cir. 2012); see also Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680
F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (noting that screening
pursuant to § 1915A “incorporates the familiar
standard applied in the context of failure to state a claim
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)”). Rule
12(b)(6) requires a complaint to “contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted); Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at 1121.
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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Determining whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. The “mere possibility of misconduct”
or “unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me
accusation[s]” fall short of meeting this plausibility
standard. Id.; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 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. Wyatt v. Cole, 504 U.S. 158, 161 (1992). 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 color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Long v. Cty. of Los Angeles, 442
F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006).
broadly alleges that during the two and one-half years he was
in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff's
Department (“SDCSD”) he was “never treated
for nerve damage” in his hands. (SAC at 4.) Plaintiff
claims that the injuries to his hands was “caused by
Sheriff Employees L.T. Kania, Sgt. Blackwell, Lance Tade and
many other deputies.” (Id.)
the Court takes judicial notice that Plaintiff has two
pending actions involving use of force by SDCSD deputies,
including claims against Blackwell and Tade, and therefore,
Plaintiff's SAC is subject to sua sponte dismissal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b)
because it contains claims which are duplicative of these two
other actions. See James v. Agnew, et al., S.D. Cal.
Civil Case No. 3:15-cv-00409-AJB-MDD and James v. Emmens,
et al., S.D. Cal. Civil Case No. 3:16-cv-2823-WQH-NLS. A
court “‘may take notice of proceedings in other
courts, both within and without the federal judicial system,
if those proceedings have a direct relation to matters at
issue.'” Bias v. Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212,
1225 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bennett v. Medtronic,
Inc., 285 F.3d 801, 803 n.2 (9th Cir. 2002)).
prisoner's complaint is considered frivolous if it
“merely repeats pending or previously litigated
claims.” Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103,
1105 n.2 (9th Cir. 1995) (construing former 28 U.S.C. §
1915(d)) (citations and internal quotations omitted). Because
Plaintiff appears to be litigating the identical claims
presented in the instant action in James v. Agnew, et
al., S.D. Cal. Civil Case No. 3:15-cv-00409-AJB-MDD and
James v. Emmens, et al., S.D. Cal. Civil Case No.
3:16-cv-2823-WQH-NLS, the Court ...