United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition to filing a
complaint (ECF No. 1), plaintiff has filed an application to
proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. ECF
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
court has reviewed plaintiff's application and finds that
it makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)
and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court directs
the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and forward
the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee as set
forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
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 fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
“is [legally] frivolous where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984).
“[A] judge may dismiss [in forma pauperis] claims which
are based on indisputably meritless legal theories or whose
factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Jackson
v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989) (citation
and internal quotations omitted), superseded by statute
on other grounds as stated in Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at
327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim,
however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual
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, ' in order to ‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). However, in order to survive dismissal for failure
to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. (citations omitted). “[T]he
pleading must contain something more . . . than . . . a
statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a
legally cognizable right of action.” Id.
(alteration in original) (quoting 5 Charles Alan Wright &
Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216
(3d ed. 2004)).
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S.
at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In reviewing a
complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true
the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital
Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trs., 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976),
as well as construe the pleading in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff and resolve all doubts in the
plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395
U.S. 411, 421 (1969).
alleges that, on April 25, 2016, California Correctional
Health Care Services (CCHCS) informed him about a potential
breach of his personal information. ECF No. 1 at 3. An
unencrypted laptop with some of his personal records and
medical files was stolen from the personal vehicle of a CCHCS
employee on February 25, 2016. Id. Plaintiff states
that a third party is now maliciously using his personal
information. Id. He argues that, as a result of this
breach of personal information, the named defendants have
directly violated his rights under the “Confidentiality
Act of Code § 56.” Id. Plaintiff also
contends that the named defendants failed to properly train
their employees to safeguard inmate personal data.
Id. at 4. These claims will be dismissed with leave
plaintiff has failed to allege that he has been injured or
that he is under threat of injury as a result of
defendants' actions. To establish standing to sue,
plaintiff must demonstrate that “he is under threat of
suffering ‘injury in fact' that is concrete and
particularized; the threat must be actual and imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical; it must be fairly traceable to
challenged conduct of the defendant; and it must be likely
that a favorable judicial decision will prevent or redress
the injury.” Summers v. Earth Island Inst.,
555 U.S. 488, 493 (2009). Here, plaintiff alleges that he
believes that his information is “being pass[ed]
around.” ECF No. 1 at 3. He offers no substantive
allegations to support this conjecture. One exhibit attached
to the complaint indicates that plaintiff may have been a
victim of past identity theft, but the letter in question is
dated October 16, 2014. Id. at 21. It is impossible
to conclude that this past identity theft is relevant to the
immediate allegations given that plaintiff alleges that the
breach in this case occurred in February of 2016.
plaintiff has failed to explain how each of the defendants
violated his rights. He has not, for instance, described how
each of the defendants was personally involved in the failure
to safeguard his data. Nor can plaintiff proceed simply by
offering the conclusory allegation that the defendants failed
to train CCHCS employees in data protection. The complaint
fails to indicate whether each of the named defendants had
any actual responsibility for such training. More
importantly, there is no indication that any of the
defendants had any role in training the employee whose laptop
was stolen in February of 2016. Finally, there is no
respondeat superior liability under section 1983. Taylor
v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989).