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Butler v. Escamilla

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 12, 2017

DERWIN BUTLER, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
ESCAMILLA, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 8) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

          MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his original complaint on May 2, 2017. (ECF No. 1.) Before his initial complaint was screened, however, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (“FAC”) on June 1, 2017. (ECF No. 8.)

         His FAC is before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). A 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 on 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 on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         II. Pleading Standard

         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. Virginia 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 color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda County, 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

         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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, at 677-78.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at California State Prison - Los Angeles County (“LAC”). He names California State Prison, Corcoran correctional officers Escamilla and H. Luna as Defendants, and brings what appear to be Eighth Amendment excessive force claims against both.

         Plaintiff's allegations are meager. They may be summarized essentially as follows: Luna and Escamilla used “excessive or inappropriate use of force, ” he was battered on parts of his body, including his chin and the back of his head, and he suffered a chin laceration.

         He states that he believes he is “entitled jurisdiction” and that the “action amount demanded does not exceed $10, 000” yet also exceeds $25, 000.

         IV. ...


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