United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR
FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF [ECF No.
Pablo Holguin is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff declined United States Magistrate Judge
jurisdiction; therefore, this matter was referred to the
undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and
Local Rule 302.
before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, filed March
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 “fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, ” or that “seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
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)).
Plaintiff must demonstrate that each named defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of his rights.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-677; Simmons v. Navajo
County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-1021 (9th Cir. 2010).
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled
to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any
doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is
now higher, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121
(9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted), and 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 Serv., 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.
names correctional officer J. Qualls as the sole Defendant in
the complaint. The events at issue in the complaint took
place at Avenal State Prison.
December 5, 2013, at 2:40 p.m., Qualls was distributing
prisoner incoming mail, and was presented with an envelope
addressed to Plaintiff. While handling the envelope,
Qualls's attention was directed to the stamp, which at
close inspection revealed contraband. At no time did
Plaintiff take physical possession of the envelope, or have
personal knowledge of the specific envelope and letter.
Plaintiff also did not know the female who allegedly sent the
letter, Mrs. Marina Ramirez.
proceeded to conduct a careful and extensive search of
Plaintiff's locker area and bed location, but failed to
discovery any drug or related paraphernalia.
same date, Qualls took five photographs, three of the
contraband found, and two of Plaintiff' right arm
depicting a rose tattoo with scar tissue in its midst (old
needle marks). Qualls failed to provide the senior hearing
officer with the two photographs of Plaintiff's
subsequently drafted a rules violation report, No.
FB-14-01-006 to punish Plaintiff in violation of the
Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments of the United States
Constitution. Plaintiff contends that in drafting the rules
violation report, Qualls omitted exculpatory evidence, i.e.
the photographs of Plaintiff's inner-right arm.
contends Qualls was fully aware that the contraband found in
the stamp of the envelope failed to meet the requirements for
possession or constructive possession of the letter. Qualls
issued the false rules violation report to deprive Plaintiff
of certain privileges.