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Rushdan v. Gear

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 26, 2017

R. GEAR, et al., Defendants.


          Barbara A. McAuliffe UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Saladin Rushdan, aka Robert Woods, (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on July 5, 2016, is currently before the Court for screening. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed a consent to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (Doc. 9.)

         Screening Requirement

         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).

         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.

         Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently housed at California State Prison, Los Angeles County at Lancaster. The events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred while Plaintiff was housed in Corcoran State Prison. Plaintiff names the following defendants: (1) R. Gear; (2) D.M. Singh; (3) F. Vasquez; (4) M.V. Sexton; and (5) M. Voong. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff sues the individuals in both their individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff alleges: Plaintiff has been for decades diagnosed and treated for Keloids and complications. Plaintiff filed multiple civil rights lawsuits to get medical care, many of which ended up settling with provision of medical care. There was a violation of the settlement and Plaintiff filed another lawsuit which also settled. He was advised in one of the lawsuits to file a state court suit against the Director of Corrections. Plaintiff filed a state court action and submitted his in forma pauperis form for approval to the Prison Trust Account Office at Corcoran. The Trust Office refused to process his informa pauperis form because plaintiff has listed his real and legal name and listing his prison commitment name as an a.k.a. Because he could get his form processed, the state court referred to process his lawsuit and rejected it. Defendant Gear is the Trust Office Accounting Officer and is responsible for prisoner accounts. Defendant Gear refused to process the form which caused Plaintiff to lose the state court lawsuit by default. Plaintiff filed a 602 appeal grievance. Defendant Singh is a business manager and agreed and concurred with Gear's discriminatory action on First Level Appeal and failed to assist plaintiff's access to court. Defendant Vasquez is Chief Deputy Warden and reviewed the appeal at the Second Level and concurred with the first level. Defendant Sexton is the Associate Warden and upheld the Amended Second Level Response. Defendant Voong is the Chief Officer of Appeals who refuses to answer Plaintiff's 602 grievance on the Third Level reviews. The 602 appeal has been returned to Corcoran to the Second Level three times.

         Plaintiff alleges interference with court access. Since Defendant Gear refused to process his in forma pauperis form, his state court action was rejected. Plaintiff also alleges retaliation stating he was transferred to Los Angeles Prison in March 2016. Plaintiff also claims Religious Discrimination. Plaintiff alleges that he changed his name in 1983 according to American Law, from “Woods” to his real name of Saladin Rushdan. Plaintiff has filed numerous lawsuits under his real name and mail has been sent and received under his real name. Plaintiff alleges he used proper procedure and that to prevent Plaintiff from using his real name is discrimination.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of $250, 000 against each defendant and punitive damages and to terminate all prison officials involved. (Doc. 1).


         1. Supervisor Liability

         In general, Plaintiff may not hold a defendant liable solely based upon their supervisory positions. Liability may not be imposed on supervisory personnel for the actions or omissions of their subordinates under the theory of respondeat superior. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-77; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). Supervisors may be held liable only if they “participated in or directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them.” Ta ...

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