United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER STRIKING ECF NO. 1 AS UNSIGNED ORDER DIRECTING
CLERK TO FILE COMPLAINT LODGED AT ECF NO. 8 AS FIRST AMENDED
COMPLAINT ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
TO AMEND (ECF NOS. 1 & 8) THIRTY (30) DAY
MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Mitchell Dixon, Jr., is a county jail inmate proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil
rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction.
(ECF No. 5.) No other parties have appeared in this action.
filed his civil rights complaint on March 6, 2017. (ECF No.
1.) The complaint was not signed. On March 27, 2017,
Plaintiff lodged a second complaint form. (ECF No. 8.) This
form was signed. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed numerous
documents, including another partial (and unsigned) complaint
form with receipts attached (ECF No. 9), an inmate grievance
form with a money order receipt attached (ECF No. 10), and a
collection of inmate grievances and health services request
forms (ECF No. 11), as well as several documents that cannot
be classified and therefore have not been filed. The
respective relevance or purpose of these documents is not
clear and will not be addressed herein.
Court cannot consider unsigned filings and therefore, the
complaint filed as ECF No. 1 shall be stricken from the
record. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a) (“Every pleading, written
motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one
attorney of record in the attorney's name-or by a party
personally if the party is unrepresented.”)
may file an amended complaint once as a matter of course.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)(B). The Court will therefore direct the
Clerk of Court to file ECF No. 8 as Plaintiff's
“First Amended Complaint” and proceed to
screening that complaint.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
and detainees 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, malicious, ” or 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. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
“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. §
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).
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
Cty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
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.
§ 1983 has a linkage requirement, that is, in order to
state a claim against an official in his personal capacity, a
plaintiff must demonstrate that each named defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of his
rights. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676-77
(2009); Simmons, 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21(9th Cir.
2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218,
1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d
930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). Plaintiff may not attribute
liability to a group of defendants, but must “set forth
specific facts as to each individual defendant's”
deprivation of his rights. Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d
628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988); see also Taylor v. List,
880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Liability may not be
imposed on supervisory personnel under the theory of
respondeat superior, as each defendant is only
liable for his or her own misconduct. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 676-77; Ewing, 588 F.3d at 1235. Supervisors
may only be held liable if they “participated in or
directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed
to act to prevent them.” Lemire v. Cal. Dept. of
Corrections & Rehabilitation, 726 F.3d 1062, 1074-75
(9th Cir. 2013) (“A prison official in a supervisory
position may be held liable under § 1983 . . . ‘if
he or she was personally involved in the constitutional
deprivation or a sufficient causal connection exists between
the supervisor's unlawful conduct and the constitutional
violation.'”) (quoting Lolli v. Cty. of
Orange, 351 F.3d 410, 418 (9th Cir. 2003)); Starr v.
Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1205-08 (9th Cir. 2011);
Corales v. Bennett, 567 F.3d 554, 570 (9th Cir.
2009); Preschooler II v. Clark Cty. Sch. Bd. of
Trs., 479 F.3d 1175, 1182 (9th Cir. 2007); Harris v.
Roderick, 126 F.3d 1189, 1204 (9th Cir. 1997). Where a
plaintiff alleges a defendant failed to intervene to stop the
abuses of subordinate staff, he must allege that the
supervisor defendant failed to intervene after being placed
on notice of ongoing constitutional violations by subordinate
staff. Starr, 652 F.3d at 1205-08.