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Kandi v. Management & Training Corporation

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 12, 2017

EMIEL A. KANDI, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Emiel A. Kandi (“Plaintiff”) is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] Plaintiff initiated this action on June 8, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) On February 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed a request for judicial notice regarding various cases decided in this Court and the Ninth Circuit. (ECF No. 20.) On May 1, 2017, prior to the Court screening the original complaint, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended and superseding verified complaint and a motion for leave to file an oversized amended and superseding verified complaint. (ECF Nos. 21, 22.) Plaintiff also lodged a first amended complaint and attachments totaling more than six hundred (600) pages. (ECF No. 23.)

         Plaintiff's motions for leave to file an amended complaint and for leave to file an oversized amended complaint are HEREBY GRANTED. The Clerk of the Court is directed to file Plaintiff's first amended complaint on the docket, and it is currently before the Court for screening.

         I. Request for Judicial Notice

         In support of his original complaint, Plaintiff requests that the Court take judicial notice of Torres-Ramirez v. Benov, No. 1:13-cv-01165 LJO MJS (HC), 2013 WL 6798948 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2013); Valenzuala v. Benov, No. 1:13-cv-00480 LJO MJS (HC), doc. 15, filed on November 21, 2013, adopted December 16, 2013, appeal dismissed, doc. 26, filed March 10, 2014;[2] Kasirem v. Benov, No. 1:13-cv-01026 LJO MJS (HC), 2013 WL 6798945 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2013); and Arredondo-Virula v. Adler, 510 Fed.Appx. 581 (9th Cir. 2013), as well as the Court's “First Informational Order in Prisoner/Civil Detainee Case, (ECF No. 6). (ECF No. 20.)

         Plaintiff asserts that these cases found that Management and Training Corporation was a private corporation rather than a government entity, and thus not entitled to discipline inmates or entitled to qualified immunity. (Id., pp. 1-2.) Plaintiff argues that none of the defendants are governmental entities or officers or employees of a governmental entity, and therefore his complaint should not be subject to screening. (Id., p. 3.) Plaintiff requests that the Court expedite his case and order service of the summons and complaint on all defendants. (Id., pp. 1, 3.)

         Subsequent to filing his request for judicial notice, Plaintiff filed his motion for leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff's first amended complaint includes additional defendants and additional causes of action.[3] (ECF No. 21.) Among the additional named defendants are Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General; the United States Bureau of Prisons; the United States Department of Justice; and the United States of America. (ECF No. 23, pp. 13-14.) As Plaintiff now “seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, aside from Management and Training Corporation and its officers and employees, Plaintiff's arguments are inapposite. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for judicial notice is HEREBY DENIED as moot, and the Court will proceed with screening of the first amended complaint.

         II. Screening Requirement and Standard

         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 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). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         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, quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are not. Iqbal. at 678; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-57.

         While “plaintiffs [now] face a higher burden of pleadings facts . . ., ” Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d 949, 977 (9th Cir. 2009), the pleadings of pro se prisoners are still construed liberally and are afforded the benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations, ” Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989), “a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled, ” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982), and 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). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” fall short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California. The events in the first amended complaint are alleged to have occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Taft Correctional Institution in Taft, California.

         The complaint is one hundred and thirteen (113) pages in length, names forty-two (42) defendants and ninety-nine (99) Doe defendants, and includes thirteen (13) causes of action. The Court declines to expend its limited resources to review and summarize Plaintiff's allegations since the complaint violates Rules 8 and 18, as discussed further below.

         In light of Plaintiff's pro se status, the Court will provide the legal standards for the claims it appears he is attempting to state and will be granted leave to file a second amended complaint that is no more than twenty-five (25) pages long.

         IV. Pleading Requirements

         A. Bivens Actions

         Section 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. Va. 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).

         To 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).

         Actions under Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotis, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) and actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “are identical save for the replacement of a state actor under § 1983 by a federal actor under Bivens.” Van Strum v. Lawn, 940 F.2d 406, 409 (9th Cir. 1991). Under Bivens, a plaintiff may sue a federal officer in his or her individual capacity for damages for violating the plaintiff's constitutional rights. See Bivens, 403 U.S. at 397. To state a claim a plaintiff must allege: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a federal actor.

         In this case, Plaintiff does not sue any individuals acting under the color of state law, but instead sues certain employees of the Federal government and other people. As a result, § 1983 has no application to this case.

         B. Doe Defendants

         Plaintiff names Does 1-99 as defendants. “As a general rule, the use of ‘John Doe' to identify a defendant is not favored.” Gillespie v. Civiletti, 629 F.2d 637, 642 (9th Cir. 1980). Plaintiff is advised that John Doe or Jane Doe defendants (i.e., unknown defendants) cannot be served by the United States Marshal until Plaintiff has identified them as actual individuals and amended his complaint to substitute names for John Doe or Jane Doe.

         C. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)

         Pursuant to Rule 8(a), 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). “Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512.

         Violations of Rule 8, at both ends of the spectrum, warrant dismissal. A violation occurs when a pleading says too little-the baseline threshold of factual and legal allegations required was the central issue in the Iqbal line of cases. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The Rule is also violated, though, when a pleading says too much. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir.2011) (“[W]e have never held -and we know of no authority supporting the proposition-that a pleading may be of unlimited length and opacity. Our cases instruct otherwise.”) (citing cases); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir.1996) (affirming a dismissal under Rule 8, and recognizing that “[p]rolix, confusing complaints such as the ones plaintiffs filed in this case impose unfair burdens on litigants and judges”). Plaintiffs complaint is not short and plain. Plaintiffs complaint violates Rule 8 because Plaintiff details all grievances he feels occurred during his time at Taft Correctional Institution.

         If he chooses to file a second amended complaint, Plaintiff should endeavor to make it as concise as possible in no more than twenty-five (25) pages He should merely state which of his constitutional rights he feels were violated by each Defendant and its factual basis. Plaintiff need not and should not cite legal authority for his claims in a second amended complaint. His factual allegations are accepted as true and need not be bolstered by legal authority at the pleading stage. If Plaintiff ...

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