United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DISMISSAL; DENYING PENDING MOTIONS RE: DKT.
NOS. 37, 38
JEFFREY S. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a California prisoner, filed this pro se civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint was
dismissed with leave to amend, and then dismissed because
Plaintiff failed to timely amend his complaint. On appeal,
the judgment was reversed because Plaintiff was not afforded
sufficient opportunity to obtain a copy of his original
complaint prior to dismissal, and the case was remanded to
this Court for further proceedings. Plaintiff has since filed
an amended complaint. The amended complaint is reviewed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and it is dismissed for
failure to cure the deficiencies in the original complaint.
Standard of Review
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). The Court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se
pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
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, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (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, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations
omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face."
Id. at 1974. Pro se pleadings must be liberally
construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't,
901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements:
(1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States was violated, and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
original complaint was dismissed because it contained a
number of improperly joined claims under Rules 18 and 20 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In the order granting
leave to amend, the Court advised Plaintiff of the
deficiencies in the complaint and how to cure them, as
The federal rules on joinder are straightforward. “A
party asserting a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or
third-party claim may join, as independent or alternative
claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing
party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a). The rules are somewhat
different when, as here, there are multiple parties. Multiple
parties may be joined as defendants in one action only
"if any right to relief is asserted against them
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and any question of law or fact
common to all defendants will arise in the action."
Id. at 20(a)(2). The upshot of these rules is that
“multiple 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." Id. "A buckshot
complaint that would be rejected if filed by a free person -
say, a suit complaining that A defrauded plaintiff, B defamed
him, C punched him, D failed to pay a debt, and E infringed
his copyright, all in different ...