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Grant v. Scalia

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 4, 2017

TRAVARE MONROE GRANT, Plaintiff,
v.
J. SCALIA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITH PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF ORDER THAT THIS DISMISSAL SHALL COUNT AS A STRIKE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Travare Monroe Grant is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (ECF No. 7.)

         Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's third amended complaint, filed on April 21, 2017. (ECF No. 20.)

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The 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 or malicious, ” that “fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         A 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)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. SUMMARY OF THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) at California State Prison (“CSP”), Sacramento. Plaintiff brings this action against defendant correctional officials employed by the CDCR at CSP-Corcoran. Plaintiff names the following individual defendants: Lieutenant F. Montoya; Chief Deputy Warden M. Sexton; Chief of Appeals M. Voong; Appeals Examination Warden R. Pimentel; Chief Deputy Warden M. Cisneros; Lieutenant V. Marmolejo; Lt. R. Ruiz; Correctional Officer O. Rubalcaba; and Correctional Officer J. Scalia.

         Plaintiff alleges as follows: On March 2, 2015, Plaintiff was refused his breakfast and lunch in the morning hours by Defendants Scalia and Rubalcaba. Plaintiff told each defendant that under no circumstances shall prison meals be refused or withheld as a disciplinary sanction, but Defendants Scalia and Rubalcaba refused the meals. On April 7, 2015, Defendants Scalia and Rubalcaba again refused Plaintiff his morning breakfast and lunch meal as a disciplinary sanction, despite a prohibition against prison meal refusals. Plaintiff attaches as an exhibit and references CDCR Form 114-A, inmate segregation record, showing that he refused breakfast and lunch on March 2, 2015 and March 3, 2015, and accepted dinner each of those days. Plaintiff also attaches a copy of a regulation stating that food shall not be withheld as a disciplinary sanction for any inmate. (ECF No. 20, p. 6.)

         Plaintiff requested for his unit supervisor, Defendant Montoya, to discuss reimbursement of his meal, but was told by Defendant Montoya that despite the prohibition on refusing meals, he was not receiving the meals. Plaintiff spoke to Defendant Ruiz, whom was the lieutenant supervisor of the housing unit, and was also told the meals would be refused. Defendant Ruiz omitted Plaintiff's right to eat and was personally involved in Plaintiff's sanction reports.

         In Plaintiff's disciplinary sanctions reports, he informed Defendants Marmolejo and Cisneros that it is against the law to refuse him a prison meal as a disciplinary sanction, that his cell was dark due to a power outage and all cell housing units were dark, that no defendant could see in his cell anyway, and that none of the defendants used their flashlights to see him.

         Plaintiff appealed the meal refusal in and in an interview in person with Defendant Sexton over the phone, he informed Defendant Sexton about the prohibition on prison meal refusals. Defendant Sexton said the policy does not matter. After the interview, Plaintiff received a notice that Defendant Sexton denounced Plaintiff's right to eat and Defendant Sexton was personally involved in supporting prison meal refusal on March 2, 2015 and April 7, 2015. Defendants Voong and Pimentel both denounced Plaintiff's right to eat and failed to protect that right despite being on notice of the laws violated, specifically on March 2, 2015 and April 7, 2015. All Defendants were on notice of the power outage on March 2, 2015, which limited visual views in Plaintiff's cell.

         Plaintiff asserts that his right to not be refused prison meals has been violated, and his right to equal protection of all laws ...


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