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Salas v. Nichols

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 15, 2017

RAFAEL SALAS, Plaintiff,
v.
NICHOLS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF PARTIAL SERVICE; DISMISSING ONE CLAIM WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          JON S. TIGAR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison (“PBSP”), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His complaint (ECF No. 1) is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. He has paid the filing fee.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, or from an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         Federal 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “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, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). “[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, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.

         To 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 violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         DISCUSSION

         I. COMPLAINT

         On November 6, 2013, Plaintiff and other inmates filed a group appeal against Officer Truvino (who is not a named defendant) for attempting to incite racial tensions between Black and Hispanic inmates. ECF No. 1 at 8. Around November 25-29, 2013, correctional officials conducted a mass investigation and mass interviews of the inmates who filed the Truvino group appeal. Id.

         On December 4, 2013, under the guise of a cell search, Defendants Officers Nichols and Carraway trashed Plaintiff's cell. ECF No. 1 at 8. Twenty minutes later, also under the guise of a cell search, Officer Lacy led more than a dozen correctional officers into Plaintiff's cell section, and they raided the section, and trashed all cells in the section. Id. at 8‒9.

         On December 7, 2013, [1] Plaintiff and inmate Ramirez questioned Officer Nichols about the December 4, 2013 cell raids. Officer Nichols informed them that the prison program office was “infuriated” by the high number of grievances originating from Plaintiff's housing unit (B-7); that the program office attributed the high number of grievances to a lack of communication between floor staff and prisoners; and that the high number of grievances made it look as if Officer Nichols had no control over the prisoners. ECF No. 1 at 9. Officer Nichols told Plaintiff that the Truvino appellants should have held their tongues and let it go, which Plaintiff interpreted as a warning that the inmates should not have filed the Truvino appeal.

         II. ...


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