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Nible v. Fink

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 9, 2017

WILLIAM NIBLE, Plaintiff,
v.
FINK, et al., Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDTION GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. 2]

          Hon. Peter C. Lewis United States Magistrate Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff William Nible (“Plaintiff”), a state prisoner, has filed a civil rights complaint alleging both federal and state law claims arising from his incarceration at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. (Doc. 1.) Presently before this Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. (Doc. 2.)

         The Honorable Cynthia Bashant has referred the matter to the undersigned Judge for Report and Recommendation pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 63(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 72.1(c)(1)(d). After a thorough review of the pleadings and supporting documents, this Court recommends the Motion to Dismiss be GRANTED.

         II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         This statement of facts is based entirely upon the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint. (Doc. 1.)

         Plaintiff is an inmate currently housed at the Sierra Conservation Center. (Doc. 1 at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that on July 13, 2015, while incarcerated at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, Plaintiff purchased approved religious artifacts, runes, which were confiscated by prison guard Defendant Fink. (Doc. 1 at 10-11.) Plaintiff contends that Defendant Fink told Plaintiff he was only allowed to possess five stones and that they must be made of either tile, wood, or plastic. (Doc. 1 at 11.) According to the Complaint, Plaintiff's rune purchase was within the matrix of allowable property and Defendant Fink unreasonably told Plaintiff that his runes were not permitted. (Id.)

         Piecing together the allegations scattered throughout the Complaint, one or more of the Defendants improperly returned some, but not all of the runes to the vendor. (Doc. 1 at 11-13, 24.) Plaintiff alleges that under fear of retaliation, he surrendered his runes to Defendant Fink, who then misappropriated state funds to return the runes to the vendor by a method other than that prescribed by law. (Id. at 12-13.) The Compliant is silent as to how the runes' return ran afoul of the law.

         While the Complaint does not include any prison grievance documentation or specific reference to Plaintiff's administrative remedies, causes of action 5 through 14 allude to various defendants denying Plaintiff “his right to petition for redress of a grievance” on August 18, 2015, September 12, 2015, November 5, 2015, February 2, 2016, and April 6, 2016. (Doc. 1 at 17-25.)

         Plaintiff sued in San Diego County Superior Court on August 3, 2016 and Defendants removed the case to federal court on November 21, 2016.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a Plaintiff's claims. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). Because Rule 12 focuses on the sufficiency of a claim rather than the claim's substantive merits, “a court may [ordinarily] look only at the face of the complaint to decide a motion to dismiss.” Van Buskirk v. Cable News Network, Inc., 284 F.3d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 2002).

         A motion to dismiss should be granted if a plaintiff fails to proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In order to overcome a motion to dismiss request, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter such that it states a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Id. at 548. “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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         “All allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Cahil v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). The court is not required to accept legal conclusions in the form of factual allegations if the conclusions detailed cannot be reasonably drawn from the facts put forth. Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 755 (9th Cir. 1994); see also Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986) (on motion to dismiss, court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” “[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 does not require ‘detailed ...


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