United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge.
an inmate at the California State Prison in Corcoran,
California, filed this pro se civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against the San Benito County
Sheriff's Department and unnamed Sheriff's
deputies. Plaintiff's application to proceed
in forma pauperis is granted in a separate order.
For the reasons explained below, the complaint is dismissed
with leave to amend.
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se
pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct.
2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although to state a
claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual
allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations
omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 1974.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two 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. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
alleges that San Benito County Sheriff's Deputies
conducted a body cavity search of him for illegal drugs
without a valid search warrant when he was incarcerated in
the San Benito County Jail, and that no drugs were found.
According to Plaintiff, the warrant was not valid because it
was signed two days after the search.
and pretrial detainees in institutional settings may be
subjected to strip searches and body cavity searches if they
are conducted in a reasonable manner. See Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 561 (1979). More specifically,
every detainee, regardless of the type or seriousness of the
offense, who will be admitted to the general population of
any prison or detention facility may be required to undergo a
close visual inspection while undressed because
“[c]orrectional officers have a legitimate interest,
indeed a responsibility, to ensure that [facilities] are not
made less secure by reason of what new detainees may carry in
on their bodies, ” including contraband and contagious
infections. See Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders
of the County of Burlington, et al., 566 U.S. 318, 321,
330-334 (2012) (holding that county's search procedures
did not violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments because
there was a reasonable balance between inmate privacy and the
needs of the institution, and rejecting petitioner's
proposal - that new detainees not arrested for serious crimes
or for offenses involving weapons or drugs be exempt from
invasive searches unless they give officers a particular
reason to suspect them of hiding contraband - as unworkable).
Plaintiff does not allege that searching him was unreasonable
under the circumstances, i.e. that the ordinary reasons
justifying body cavity searches for inmates in jails were not
present in his case. Simply alleging that there was not a
valid search warrant supporting the search does not suffice.
To state a claim upon which relief may be granted, Plaintiff
must allege in a coherent and understandable manner why the
search of him was not reasonably justified by the need to
ensure that the jail was not made less secure by reason of
what he may have carried on his body.
complaint is dismissed with leave to amend. Plaintiff shall
file an amended complaint within twenty eight (28)
days from the date this order is filed. The amended
complaint must include the caption and civil
case number used in this order (No. C 17-2781 JSC (PR)) and
the words “COURT-ORDERED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT”
on the first page. Because an amended complaint completely
replaces the original complaint, see Ferdik v.
Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992), Plaintiff
may not incorporate material from the original by reference;
he must include in his amended complaint all the claims he
wishes to pursue. Failure to amend within the designated
time and in accordance with this order will result in the
dismissal of this action.
is Plaintiff's responsibility to prosecute this case.
Plaintiff must keep the Court informed of any change of
address by filing a separate paper with the clerk headed
“Notice of Change of Address.” He also must
comply with the Court's orders in a timely fashion,
although he may request an extension of time provided it is
accompanied by a showing of good cause and it is filed on or
before the deadline he wants to extend. Failure to do so may
result in the dismissal of this action for failure to
prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).