United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IFP AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a county prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has filed an
application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915.
Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court
directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and
forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee
as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
Screening Requirement and Standards
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).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include 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.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
complaint (ECF No. 1), plaintiff names the Yuba County Jail
as the defendant. He alleges (1) that he lost a molar tooth
due to the negligence of the Yuba County Kitchen, when he bit
into a pebble or rock of some sort while chewing his food;
and (2) that he has been denied medical care for an injured
and very painful thumb. For the reasons explained below, the
complaint is dismissed with leave to amend.
the complaint does not identify any claims for relief. To
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (1)
the violation of a federal constitutional or statutory right;
and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting
under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d
930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). An individual defendant is not
liable on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish the
defendant's personal involvement in the constitutional
deprivation or a causal connection between the
defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged
constitutional deprivation. See Hansen v. Black, 885
F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989); Johnson v. Duffy, 588
F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978).
the complaint fails to state a claim against the Yuba County
Jail because it does not sufficiently allege that plaintiff
was injured as a result of employees acting pursuant to any
policy or custom of the County. A municipal entity or its
departments is liable under section 1983 only if plaintiff
shows that his constitutional injury was caused by employees
acting pursuant to the municipality's policy or custom.
Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Ed. v. Doyle, 429
U.S. 274, 280 (1977); Monell v. New York City Dep't
of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978); Villegas
v. Gilroy Garlic Festival Ass'n, 541 F.3d 950, 964
(9th Cir. 2008). Local government entities may not be held
vicariously liable under section 1983 for the
unconstitutional acts of its employees under a theory of
respondeat superior. See Board of Cty. Comm'rs. v.
Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 403 (1997).
the complaint appears to improperly join unrelated claims in
a single lawsuit. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not
allow a claimant to raise unrelated claims against different
defendants in a single action. Instead, a plaintiff may add
multiple parties where the asserted right to relief arises
out of the same transaction or occurrence and a common
question of law or fact will arise in the action.