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Jacobsen v. Pool

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 13, 2017

MICHAEL JACOBSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
KIRK POOL, Defendant.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF (ECF NO. 1)

          BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Michael Jacobsen (“Plaintiff”) is a pretrial detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on November 21, 2016, is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 1.) In the complaint, Plaintiff names Property Sergeant Kirk Pool as the sole defendant.

         I. 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).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations 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.

         II. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is no longer detained in custody. At the time of the events in the complaint, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Fresno County Jail. Plaintiff names Property Sergeant Kirk Pool as the defendant. Plaintiff's allegations are quoted as follows: “I would like my duffle bag and everything in it or be reimbursed in the amount of $675.00. I would like my backpack and everything in it or be reimbursed in the amount of $5, 000.00. I would like injunctive relief to change their policy to destroy property after 60 days at least until your [sic] released.” (Doc. 1.)

         III. Discussion

         A. Rule 8

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, 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). 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 (citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. at 1974). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557.

         Plaintiff's amended complaint is short, but fails to set forth the necessary facts to state a claim that is plausible on its face. Plaintiff fails to link Defendant Pool to any conduct.

         B. Supervisory Liability and Linkage

         As a threshold issue, under § 1983, Plaintiff must link the named defendants to the participation in the violation at issue. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1948-49; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, ...


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