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Wahl v. Sutton

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 24, 2017

SUTTON, Defendant.



          Barbara A. McAuliffe, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Peter Gerard Wahl (“Plaintiff”), a former state prisoner, is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action on October 19, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 7.)

         II. Motions to Supplement

          Currently pending before the court are Plaintiff's motions to supplement filed on January 13, 2017, and March 6, 2017. (ECF Nos. 13, 16.) For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's motions to supplement shall be denied.

         A. Motion filed January 3, 2017

          On November 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed a supplement to his original complaint. (ECF No. 8.) Thereafter, on December 7, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to supplement his original complaint. (ECF No. 9.) On January 13, 2017, the Court signed an order disregarding Plaintiff's supplemental pleading, denying his motion to supplement and granting him leave to amend his complaint within thirty (30) days. The order was docketed on January 17, 2017. (ECF No. 14.)

         Before the Court's order granting leave to amend was docketed, however, Plaintiff filed a second motion to supplement his original complaint. (ECF No. 13.) During pendency of the motion to supplement, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint on February 16, 2017. (ECF No. 15.) Because Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint, Plaintiff's request to supplement his original complaint is now moot and is HEREBY DENIED. See, e.g., Lacey v. Maricopa Cty., 693 F.3d 896, 927 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc) (an amended complaint supersedes the original complaint).

         B. Motion filed March 6, 2017

         As indicated, on March 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to supplement his first amended complaint. (ECF No. 16.) By his motion, Plaintiff requests that his civil action be supplemented “with recently acquired clarification that specifically delineates the reclassification was had under Prop 64; and, jail credits were awarded. Indisputably and conclusively showing defendant lost lawful jurisdiction of my person on 12/01/16.” (Id. at p. 1.) Attached to his moving papers are minutes from the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, in Case: 16WF1633M A and Name: Wahl, Peter Gerard. (Id. at p. 2.) The minutes span the time period from November 15, 2016, to January 23, 2017. (Id.)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d) states, “[o]n motion and reasonable notice, the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d). Here, Plaintiff's motion alleges no new facts that arose subsequent to his first amended complaint to support a supplemental pleading. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). As noted, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint in February 2017, which was after the proceedings reflected in the minutes of the Orange County Superior Court took place. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion to supplement his complaint filed on March 6, 2017, is HEREBY DENIED. However, the court is not precluded from taking judicial notice of court records in other cases. See United States v. Howard, 381 F.3d 873, 876 n. 1 (9th Cir. 2004).

         III. 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).

         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.

         A. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff, formerly confined at Wasco State Prison, brings suit against the following defendants: (1) Warden John Sutton; (2) Counselor Jane/John Doe; (3) J. Albert, CCII; and (4) Assistant Deputy Chief Warden Jane Doe.

         Claim 1

          In his first claim, Plaintiff alleges: On August 18, 2016, Plaintiff was sentenced to 16 months in Case No. 16WF1633. On September 7, 2016, Defendants took custody of Plaintiff. However, Plaintiff sought relief in the sentencing court under Proper 47. On November 30, 2016, the sentencing court reclassified Plaintiff's felony to a misdemeanor and resentenced Plaintiff to 180 days (deemed served). Once Plaintiff learned of the sentencing, he submitted grievances “everywhere, ” but no grievances were answered. (ECF No. 15 at p. 3.) Instead, Plaintiff was released under Prop 64 by Defendants with “summary probation.” (Id.) Plaintiff checked Case No. 16WF1633 and found no probation. Plaintiff sought emergency relief and submitted grievances to Defendants J. Albert, Counselor Jane/John Doe, Assistant Deputy Chief ...

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