United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge
a state prisoner, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The second amended complaint was
dismissed with leave to amend and plaintiff has filed a third
amended complaint (Docket No. 19).
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). In its review the court must identify any
cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri
v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
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, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted).
Although in order 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, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A
complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at
570. The United States Supreme Court has recently explained
the “plausible on its face” standard of
Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide
the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by
factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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 deprivation was committed by a
person acting under the color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
presents many allegations of mistreatment and violations of
his rights by correctional officers, prison officials,
attorneys and judges at two prisons over the course of
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), a plaintiff must provide “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief....” Rule 8 requires
“sufficient allegations to put defendants fairly on
notice of the claims against them.” McKeever v.
Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir.1991)). Accord
Richmond v. Nationwide Cassel L.P., 52 F.3d 640, 645
(7th Cir.1995) (amended complaint with vague and scanty
allegations fails to satisfy the notice requirement of Rule
8.) “The propriety of dismissal for failure to comply
with Rule 8 does not depend on whether the complaint is
wholly without merit, ” McHenry v. Renne, 84
F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 1996).
“[M]ultiple claims against a single party are fine, but
Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with
unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.” George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
“Unrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits, ” not only to prevent the sort of
“morass” that a multi-claim, multi-defendant suit
can produce, “but also to ensure that prisoners pay the
required filing fees - for the Prison Litigation Reform Act
limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any
prisoner may file without prepayment of required fees.”
Id. (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)).
third amended complaint is 51 pages and names approximately
58 defendants. Plaintiff presents allegations concerning
events at two different prisons over the course of several
years. He also names as defendants several attorneys,
including deputy attorneys general who litigated his previous
cases and a superior court judge. Plaintiff alleges that all
defendants are engaged in a multi-district racketeering
conspiracy to retaliate against plaintiff for the filing of a
prior federal civil rights lawsuit. He also raises many other
claims and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations (“RICO”) Act.
majority of plaintiff's allegations concern conduct that
occurred at Kern Valley State Prison, which lies in the
Eastern District of California. Plaintiff presents
allegations that occurred between February 1, 2014 and August
30, 2016 at Kern Valley State Prison that were committed by
more than 30 defendants who were employed at that facility.
He also alleges that several attorneys and a judge retaliated
against plaintiff while he pursued a prior federal action.
Plaintiff's complaint also contains allegations against
several defendants who were employed at Pelican Bay State
Prison (“PBSP”), which is in this district.
Plaintiff alleges that the PBSP defendants violated his
rights after he was transferred to that facility on August
complaint in this action illustrates the “unfair
burdens” imposed by complaints, “prolix in
evidentiary detail, yet without simplicity, conciseness and
clarity” which “fail to perform the essential
functions of a complaint.” McHenry, 84 F.3d at
1179- 80. Plaintiff has also presented many unrelated claims.
The first and second amended complaints were dismissed with
leave to amend to focus on the events that occurred at PBSP.
Plaintiff was informed that the allegations that occurred
during plaintiff's incarceration at Kern Valley State
Prison and elsewhere were dismissed from this action without
prejudice. Plaintiff could file a case or cases concerning
these events ...