United States District Court, E.D. California
RUSSELL S. GRANT, Plaintiff,
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendant.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (DOC.
JENNIFER L. THURSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff alleges that he is being transferred to
various CDCR facilities in retaliation “to silence his
complaints.” Because his allegations are conclusory and
fail to specifically link any individual to his factual
allegations, the Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend.
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,
malicious, 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. § 1915A(b)(1), (2);
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).
Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint
alleges that the California Department of Corrections is
legally responsible for the overall operation of California
prisons and that the Wardens of SCC, PBSC, CTF, SVSP, and
CSATF are responsible for the actions that occur to inmates
in their respective facilities. Plaintiff alleges he was
allowed to be brutally assaulted at SCC in February 2016 and
that he was subsequently transferred among the above prisons
in an effort “to permanently ‘silence' and/or
‘kill' plaintiff for complaining about their
conduct.” (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4.) However, Plaintiff fails
to name any individuals as defendants in this action, fails
to link any individuals to the claims he is attempting to
state, and fails to state specific factual allegations to
support any of his claims.
is the only defendant named in this action. Plaintiff asserts
claims under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments and
seeks declaratory relief, preliminary and permanent
injunctive relief, and monetary damages. Plaintiff has not
stated any cognizable claims, but may be able to correct the
deficiencies in his pleading. Thus, the Court set forth the
pleading requirements and the standards for his delineated
claims. Likewise, the Court grants him leave to file a first
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil
actions, with limited exceptions, ” none of which
applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema
N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a).
A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief .
. . .” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a). “Such a statement
must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the
plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512.
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 (2009), quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual
allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are
not. Iqbal. at 678; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009);
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557. The vast majority, if
not all of Plaintiff's allegations are general legal
“plaintiffs [now] face a higher burden of pleadings
facts . . ., ” Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d
949, 977 (9th Cir. 2009), the pleadings of pro se
prisoners are still construed liberally and are afforded the
benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338,
342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, “the liberal pleading
standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual
allegations, ” Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 330 n.9 (1989), “a liberal interpretation of a
civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of
the claim that were not initially pled, ” Bruns v.
Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th
Cir. 1997) quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d
266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982), and 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). The “sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is
not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely
consistent with' a defendant's liability” fall
short of satisfying the plausibility standard.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949;
Moss, 572 F.3d at 969. Plaintiff's general legal
conclusions are largely void of any facts to even be merely
consistent with a defendant's liability -- let alone
anything to satisfy Iqbal's plausibility
chooses to file a first amended complaint, Plaintiff should
endeavor to make it as concise as possible. He should simply
state which of his constitutional rights he feels were
violated by each Defendant and its specific factual basis.
Where the allegations against two or more Defendants are
factually intertwined, Plaintiff need not repeat the factual
allegations separately against each Defendant. Rather,
Plaintiff should present his factual allegations and identify
the Defendants he feels are thereby implicated. Plaintiff
need not cite legal authority for his claims in a first
amended complaint as his factual allegations are accepted as
true. The amended complaint should be clearly legible
(see Local Rule 130(b)), and double-spaced pursuant
to Local Rule 130(c).
Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 1983) requires that there
be an actual connection or link between the actions of the
defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered
by Plaintiff. See Monell v. Department of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode,
423 U.S. 362 (1976). The Ninth Circuit has held that
“[a] person ‘subjects' another to the
deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of
section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in
another's affirmative acts or omits to perform an act
which he is legally required to do that causes the
deprivation of which complaint is made.” Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). In order to
state a claim for relief under section 1983, Plaintiff must
link individual, named defendants with some affirmative act
or omission that demonstrates a violation of Plaintiff's
must clearly identify the individuals that he feels are
responsible for each violation of his constitutional rights
and their factual basis as his Complaint must put each
Defendant on notice of Plaintiff's claims against him or
her. See Austin v. Terhune, 367 F.3d 1167, 1171 (9th
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ...