United States District Court, N.D. California
JOHN D. HUNTER, Plaintiff,
R. L. BRIGGS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER OF PARTIAL SERVICE
TIGAR United States District Judge.
an inmate at San Quentin State Prison (“SQSP”),
filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. His amended complaint (Dkt. No. 7) is now
before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Standard of Review
federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity, or from an officer or an employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court
must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims
which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1), (2). Pro se pleadings
must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
“Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need
only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . .
. claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)
(citations omitted). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to
provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment]
to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated; and
(2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under
the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
to the amended complaint, prior to September 2014, per SQSP
policy, indigent inmates could obtain paper for free by
requesting it at the law library. Dkt. No. 7 at 6. Starting
in September 2014, SQSP inmates were informed that paper
could no longer be obtained from the law library, and instead
paper would be distributed within the housing units and at 13
Wall Gate. Id. In practice, this new policy deprived
Plaintiff and other indigent inmates of paper because the
housing units and 13 Wall Gate did not distribute paper,
sometimes claiming ignorance of the new policy and at other
times stating that they did not have any paper. Id.
at 8, 10, 16. Plaintiff alleges that the deprivation of paper
has interfered with his access to the courts because it has
hindered his ability to conduct legal research and to file
timely motions. Id. In addition, because Plaintiff
was unable to obtain paper, he was unable to file a
court-ordered amended complaint in Hunter v. Baca, C
No. BC533514, resulting in the dismissal of that case on
March 12, 2015. Dkt. No. 7 at 16 and No. 7-1 at 11. Plaintiff
also alleges that CDCR has failed to provide an adequate law
library because the SQSP law library fails to provide pens
and envelopes to indigent inmates. Dkt. No. 7 at 12-14.
names the following prison officials as defendants: SQSP
Deputy Warden Kelly Mitchell, SQSP Principal of Education
Anthony Beebe, SQSP Sergeants Tienne and Polano, and SQSP
Correctional Officers Cain and Irello. Plaintiff alleges that
during the relevant time period he informed all named
defendants that he needed, and was unable to obtain, paper
and that all defendants denied his request for paper. Dkt.
No. 7 at 9. Plaintiff further alleges that Deputy Warden
Mitchell, Principal Beebe, and Sgt. Tienne failed to train
and supervise their employees to properly implement the new
paper distribution policy. Id. at 8-9.
alleges that SQSP's failure to distribute paper to
indigent inmates has denied him access to the courts;
violates the Equal Protection Clause; and violates his Sixth
Amendment right to self-representation. Plaintiff also
alleges that CDCR has failed to provide the constitutionally
required adequate law library because the SQSP law library
does not provide pen and envelopes to indigent inmates.
Right to ...