United States District Court, E.D. California
MICHAEL J. SCHWERDTFEGER, Plaintiff,
CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IFP AND RECOMMENDATION OF DISMISSAL
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has filed an
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court
directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and
forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee
as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
Screening Requirement and Standards
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include 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 Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[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.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
court has reviewed plaintiff's complaint (ECF No. 1)
pursuant to § 1915A and finds it must be dismissed. The
complaint alleges that the California Correctional Health
Care Services (“CCHCS”) and the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”) breached the confidentiality of
plaintiff's personal information and medical records when
an unencrypted laptop was stolen from the vehicle of a CCHCS
employee. Plaintiff alleges he is now exposed to identity
theft as a result. Attached to the complaint is a letter from
CCHCS notifying plaintiff of this “potential
breach.” ECF No. 1, Ex. A. The letter noted that the
laptop was password protected, and informed plaintiff as
We do not know if any sensitive information was contained in
the laptop. To the extent any sensitive information may have
been contained in the laptop, we do not know if the
information included any of your information. If your
information was included, the nature of the information may
have included confidential medical, mental health, and
custodial information. To the extent any sensitive
information may have been contained in the laptop, we
estimate that it would have been limited to information
related to your custody and care, if any, between 1996 and
Id. Plaintiff claims that the failure to encrypt the
laptop was “deliberate”, that it violated various
state laws, the Fourth Amendment, and also demonstrates a
conspiracy to deprive plaintiff of equal protection.
Id. at 3. As set forth below, the complaint
demonstrate a lack of standing, names defendants who are
immune from suit, and otherwise fails to state a cognizable
claim under the applicable standards.
plaintiff is required to establish standing for each claim he
asserts. DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S.
332, 352 (2006). If a plaintiff has no standing, the court
has no subject matter jurisdiction. Nat'l Wildlife
Fed'n v. Adams, 629 F.2d 587, 593 n. 11 (9th Cir.
1980). There are three requirements that must be met for a
plaintiff to have standing: (1) the plaintiff must have
suffered an “injury in fact”-an invasion of a
legally protected interest which is both concrete and
particularized and actual or imminent; (2) there must be a
causal connection between the injury and the conduct
complained of; and (3) it must be likely that the injury will