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Grant v. Scalia

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 12, 2017

TRAVARE MONROE GRANT, Plaintiff,
v.
J. SCALIA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Travare Monroe Grant is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (ECF No. 7.)

         Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's second amended complaint, filed on August 24, 2016. (ECF No. 13.)

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The 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 on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         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)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. SUMMARY OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) at California State Prison (“CSP”), Sacramento. Plaintiff brings this action against defendant correctional officials employed by the CDCR at CSP Corcoran. Plaintiff names the following individual defendants: Lieutenant F. Montoya; Chief Deputy Warden M. Sexton; Chief of Appeals M. Voong; Appeals Examination Warden R. Pimentel; Chief Deputy Warden M. Cisneros; Lieutenant V. Marmolejo; Lt. R. Ruiz; Correctional Officer O. Rubalcaba; and Correctional Officer J. Scalia.

         Plaintiff alleges as follows: In his Muslim faith, all Muslims pray five times a day beginning from early morning hours. On March 2, 2015, Plaintiff was body washing in his cell to prepare for morning prayer, and he was naked. Defendants Rubalcaba and Scalia arrived to serve him breakfast and lunch and noticed his window was covered. They ordered Plaintiff to take off the cover that only blocked a small portion of the window. Plaintiff told Defendants Rubalcaba and Scalia that it was against his Islamic faith to appear naked in front of men. Defendants Rubalcaba and Scalia replied by telling Plaintiff that he was being refused his breakfast and lunch meals, and that he would be receiving a disciplinary action.

         On April 7, 2015, Plaintiff was again body washing in his cell, preparing for morning prayer with his window covered halfway while he was naked. Defendants Rubalcaba and Scalia approached to serve Plaintiff breakfast and lunch, and ordered him to take down the window cover. Plaintiff again told them it was against his Islamic faith to appear naked in front of men. Defendants Rubalcaba and Scalia refused Plaintiff his meals and told him that he would be receiving a CDC 115 disciplinary action.

         Defendant F. Montoya was the supervising sergeant of Plaintiff's housing unit, and approved the denial of meals. Defendant R. Ruiz interviewed Plaintiff, and Plaintiff told Defendant Ruiz that when he is preparing for morning prayer by body washing, he is refused his meals for window covers. Defendant Ruiz approved the disciplinary charge, and told Plaintiff that until he stopped his preparations, there will be refused meals.

         Plaintiff requested to receive privileged meal delivery allowance during the morning hours in his grievance. Defendant M. Sexton denied Plaintiff relief at the second level of review. Plaintiff pleaded his grievance at the third level, and Defendants M. Voong and R. Pimental denied Plaintiff relief.

         Defendant Marmolejo was the hearing officer for Plaintiff's CDC 115 disciplinary action for the April 7, 2015 incident. Defendant Marmolejo omitted consideration of Plaintiff's religious rights defense. Defendant M. Cisneros approved the meal refusals.

         Plaintiff alleges that his First Amendment right to freedom of religion, his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection, and his right to be free from ...


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