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Hall v. Deuel Vocational Institution

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 7, 2017

TERRELL DWAYNE HALL, Plaintiff,
v.
DEUEL VOCATIONAL INSTITUTION et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          ALLISON CLAIRE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff is a former state prisoner who was paroled after commencing this prisoner civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis with his proposed Second Amended Complaint (SAC). See ECF No.22; see also ECF No. 34.

         Plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of the magistrate judge for all purposes pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Local Rule 305(a). See ECF No. 4. For the reasons set forth below, this court dismisses the SAC with leave to file a Third Amended Complaint.

         SCREENING OF COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         I. Legal Standards for Screening a Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint

         The 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, ” fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

         A claim is legally frivolous when 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). The court may dismiss a claim as frivolous when it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pled, has an arguable legal and factual basis.

         A district court must construe a pro se pleading liberally to determine if it states a potentially cognizable claim. The court must explain to the plaintiff any deficiencies in his complaint and accord plaintiff an opportunity to cure them. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000). While detailed factual allegations are not required, “[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) (citing Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.” Id. at 679. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “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.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation and internal quotation and punctuation marks omitted).

         A pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the complaint's deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment. See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).

         II. Allegations of Plaintiff's SAC

         In his SAC, plaintiff contends that in December 2012, during his physical examination when initially incarcerated, plaintiff was administered an injection, reportedly against hepatitis, that allegedly caused significant changes to his entire body resulting in overt feminization. See ECF No. 22. These changes have been distressing to plaintiff, both privately and due to the responses of inmates and prison staff. Plaintiff alleges that he was subjected to relentless verbal harassment and name calling, the tampering of his food, and intentional obstruction in his attempts to exhaust administrative remedies. In the SAC, which names more than thirty defendants, plaintiff seeks damages, “medical fees payed for the massive surgery I need, ” fees and costs, and a “public apology for the defamation.” Id. at 3.

         III. Analysis

         Several overarching problems beset the SAC. First, the complaint contains myriad unrelated factual allegations and putative claims against numerous defendants. Although a plaintiff may join multiple claims against a single defendant, he may not pursue unrelated claims against different ...


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