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King v. Barrios

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 8, 2017

MARIO KING, Plaintiff,
v.
J. BARRIOS, Defendant.

          SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 1)

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Mario King (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on November 8, 2016, is currently before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement and Standard

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks 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)(ii).

         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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         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. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently housed at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (CSATF) in Corcoran, California, where the events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff names Facility A Sergeant J. Barrios as the sole defendant.

         In claim one, Plaintiff alleges that, on July 6, 2016, he served a CDCR 602 Appeal and 602(A) Attachment on Officer Hicks, the third watch housing officer. On September 6, 2016, Plaintiff's appeal was accepted, and Officer Ramos verified, through a CDCR 22, that Plaintiff's appeal was received by the office on July 7, 2016. On July 22, 2016, after not receiving any other correspondence, Plaintiff sent another CDCR 22 addressed to the Appeals Coordinator, received by C. Navaras on July 28, 2016, which not answered or responded to. On August 31, 2016, Plaintiff sent a third CDCR 22 to the Appeals Coordinator requesting the progress of his 602 appeal. The CDCR 22 went unanswered. Plaintiff alleges that the Appeals Coordinator denied him the right of access to the Court by not allowing him to exhaust administrative remedies. The 602 appeal was based on officer retaliation due to filing a section 1983 action against a supervisory lieutenant.

         In claim two, Plaintiff alleges that on July 23, 2016, he performed his duties as an ADA inmate caregiver to disabled inmates by escorting Inmates Florencio and Del Rio to evening meal, medication distribution and back to housing in Facility A, Building 2. Plaintiff was then summoned by Correctional Officer Wickert to the control office in the housing unit. Upon his arrival in the office, Plaintiff was questioned concerning an allegation made by Defendant Barrios. The allegation suggested that Plaintiff was involved in misconduct against Defendant Barrios, who called Facility A, Building 2 with these accusations. Defendant Barrios also instructed and informed Correctional Officer Wickert of Plaintiff's transfer to another location due to these actions. Plaintiff alleges that this action was under the authority of Supervisor W.S. Wadkins, who must approve such a transfer. Plaintiff contends that this relocation did not reasonably advance a legitimate correctional goal. Plaintiff reportedly was advised of possible further disciplinary action if he failed to comply with the order. Plaintiff offered evidence of two other inmates that corroborated his claim, and the two other inmates had not seen Plaintiff make any contact with Defendant Barrios before, during or after the evening meal. Plaintiff alleges that he was still directed to comply, which “intentionally inflicted emotional distress by [his] unavailability to work the job assigned to.” (ECF No. 1, p. 5.) Plaintiff further alleges that he could not receive help with his prior suit.

         III. Deficiencies in Complaint

         A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, 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). 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. at 1974). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557.

         Although Plaintiff's complaint is short, it is not a plain statement of his claims showing that he is entitled to relief under section 1983. In particular, claim one fails to link the named to defendant to the allegations and claim two omits necessary facts to enable the Court to determine whether Plaintiff states a cognizable claim. Plaintiff will be given an ...


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