United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PLAINTIFF TO PROCEED
ON RELIGION CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANTS WEGMAN AND BOWMAN AND
THAT DEFENDANT HOWARD AND ALL CLAIMS AGAINST HIM BE DISMISSED
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Vaughn, Sr. asserts his civil rights were violated through
the denial of participation in the Jewish Kosher Program and
Jewish services at Kern Valley State Prison by C. Wegman, the
food supervisor, Pentecostal Chaplain Bowman, and Muslim Imam
M. Howard. Plaintiff has stated cognizable claims against
Wegman and Chaplain Bowman for violation of his religious
rights, but, despite being given specific direction in the
prior screening order, failed to link Imam Howard to any of
his factual allegations. Thus, the Court recommends that
Plaintiff be allowed to proceed on his religious claims
against Defendants Wegman and Bowman, and that Imam Howard
and all claims against him be dismissed with prejudice.
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,
malicious, 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);
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). If an action is
dismissed on one of these three basis, a strike is imposed
per 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). An inmate who has had three or
more prior actions or appeals dismissed as frivolous,
malicious, or for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, and has not alleged imminent danger of
serious physical injury does not qualify to proceed in
forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g);
Richey v. Dahne, 807 F.3d 1201, 1208 (9th Cir.
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
Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
names Food Manager C. Wegman, Pentecostal Chaplain Bowman,
and Muslim Imam M. Howard as defendants in this action.
first claim is for deprivation of a Kosher diet. (Doc. 12,
pp. 3-4.) Under this claim, Plaintiff alleges that upon
arrival at KVSP, his previously approved 3030 Kosher meal
form was sent to Wegman who “started the
process.” Since there is no Rabbi at KVSP, Wegman sent
Chaplain Bowman to interview Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges
that Bowman saw that Plaintiff is a Black-Hebrew-Jewish
inmate and refused to approve his Kosher meal request --
despite 20 years of prior approval. Wegman thereafter sent
him a stamped signed memorandum denying his request.
Plaintiff alleges that, based on CDCR rules and regulations,
he only needs to be approved once by a Rabbi. Plaintiff has
never been interviewed by a Rabbi since being at KVSP, but he
alleges that inmates are only required to be approved once
and the CDCR practice is to honor the prior approval.
Plaintiff alleges there are a number of other inmates that
have been approved without a Rabbi at KVSP.
second claim is for denial of access to Jewish services.
(Doc. 12, pp. 4-5.) Under this claim, Plaintiff alleges that
he has made several requests to be allowed to attend Jewish
services, but that Chaplain Bowman has denied him every time,
or simply removed Plaintiff's name from the list.
Plaintiff alleges that Wegman has “taken the matter
upon herself to regulate the religious services list when
this is not her job” and that she has even placed
Plaintiff “on other list [sic] for pure amusement and
manipulation.” Plaintiff also alleges that Wegman and
Chaplain Bowman have denied him “the Pass Over”
which he asserts is “the most important cleansing and
fasting part” of his religion. Plaintiff alleges he has
been “forced to eat only the peanut butter and jelly
seeks injunctive relief to be transferred to a prison that
will accommodate his Jewish Kosher meal needs or that he be
able to receive Jewish Kosher meals at KVSP, and that he be
reimbursed for denied past Kosher meals at KVSP. As in his
original pleading, Plaintiff fails to identify any causes of
action in his First Amended Complaint. Thus, the Court again
presumes that Plaintiff seeks to state claims for violations
of the First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
Federal Rule of ...