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King v. Barrios

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 5, 2017

MARIO KING, Plaintiff,
J. BARRIOS, Defendant.


          Barbara A. McAuliffe UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Mario King (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 9, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed on June 26, 2017, is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 13.)

         I. Screening Requirement and Standard

         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 currently housed at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (“CSATF”) in Corcoran, California, where the events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff names Sergeant J. Barrios, C. Ramos and Warden S. Sherman as defendants in this action.

         By way of background, Plaintiff alleges that he was housed at CSATF on Facility A and served as a caregiver for ADA inmates. In the course of this service, Plaintiff filed a case, No. 1:16-cv-00433-LJO-SAB (PC), against W.S. Wadkins. Plaintiff alleges that W.S. Wadkins used Defendant Barrios to retaliate against Plaintiff for the litigation.

         In his first claim, Plaintiff alleges he tried to appeal the adverse actions of Defendant Barrios regarding “false allegations that ‘SOME ALLEGATION' . . . was made towards, against, stared, argued, and /or had words with correctional officer Sgt. Barrios.” (ECF No. 13, p. 2.) Correctional Officer Wickert communicated to Plaintiff that he stared or made a statement to Defendant Barrios. Plaintiff asserts he has two witnesses that can validate he never saw or spoke with Defendant Barrios on June 23, 2016. However, Defendant Barrios moved Plaintiff to another building, but this does not lessen Plaintiff's visibility nor does it prevent Plaintiff and Defendant Barrios from seeing each other. Plaintiff contends that he provided witnesses to Correctional Officer Wickert to dispute the false allegations, but Correctional Officer Wickert “advised Plaintiff that correctional officer Sgt. J. Barrios stated, “Failure to move will result in a CDC 115 RULES VIOLATION REPORT.” (Id.) Plaintiff appears to allege that the transfer to Housing Unit 3 was an adverse transfer or punishment without procedural due process. Plaintiff contends that Defendant Barrios' actions are retaliatory acts for the purpose of harassment, intimidation, oppression, and exploitation of an inmate under Penal Code section 147.

         In his second claim, Plaintiff alleges he tried to file a citizen complaint against Defendant Barrios for his acts on June 23, 2016, by way of a 602. Defendant Ramos filed Plaintiff's appeal, but never returned it or answered it. Plaintiff contends that because of Defendant Ramos' failure to be properly trained, she used underground regulations. Plaintiff alleges a “Greenwall” in which CDCR staff act on “behalf of one another to protect and/or discourage its wards from pursuing legal actions against correctional staff.” (ECF No. 13, p. 4.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Sherman allows his staff to use underground regulations, and the defendants have conspired together to intentionally harass and intimidate Plaintiff, who filed a grievance as part of his First Amendment rights.

         In his third claim, Plaintiff contends Defendant Sherman has failed to train his employees in the execution of their duties and allowed the “Green Wall” to conspire together to violate Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Plaintiff also contends Defendant Sherman allows the filing of false documents within his institution. Plaintiff alleges he has tried to utilize the appeals process to gain relief, but he cannot get an answer to his appeal or receive it back.

         Plaintiff asserts that defendants have violated his Due Process and Equal Protection rights and discriminated against him. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

         III. Deficienci ...

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