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Ardds v. Pizano

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 28, 2017

ANTOINE L. ARDDS, Plaintiff,
v.
M. PIZANO, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE; ORDER DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO FILE A DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING SUCH MOTION; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK

          JOSEPH C. SPERO Chief Magistrate Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed this federal civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in which he raises claims against prison guards at Salinas Valley State Prison.

         The third amended complaint (Dkt. No. 26) states cognizable claims. Therefore, in response to the operative complaint, defendants are directed to file a dispositive motion or notice regarding such motion on or before August 7, 2017, unless an extension is granted. The Court further directs that defendants adhere to the notice provisions detailed in Sections 2.a and 10 of the conclusion of this order.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         In its initial review of this pro se complaint, this Court must dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

         A “complaint must 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) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Furthermore, a court “is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994).

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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).

         B. Legal Claims

         Plaintiff alleges that in October 2014, Salinas Valley prison guard M. Pizano sprayed a dose of pepper spray into plaintiff's “bag of beans” during a cell search in retaliation for complaining about prison staff conduct. Plaintiff, who did not know of Pizano's act, later ate the contaminated beans, which resulted in injury to him. When liberally construed, this states cognizable First and Eighth Amendment claims.

         Plaintiff did not see Pizano's alleged act. He bases his allegations on “information and belief” that two prison porters observed Pizano. Allegations based merely on “information and belief” may be sufficient to state a claim. However, in order for his claim to survive summary judgment, plaintiff will have to obtain evidentiary support for his allegations.

         Plaintiff also alleges Salinas Valley prison guards J. Lopez, E. Medina, and C. Martella failed to respond to his grievance about M. Pizano. When liberally construed, these allegations state ...


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