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McInnis v. Vaughn

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 16, 2017

ROBERT MCINNIS, Plaintiff,
v.
VAUGHN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a Yolo County Jail prisoner proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and plaintiff has consented to have all matters in this action before a United States Magistrate Judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

         Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.

         Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency to collect twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust account and forward it to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

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

         The court has conducted the required screening and finds that plaintiff's complaint states a claim against defendant Herrera upon which relief could be granted arising under the Eighth Amendment for excessive force as alleged by plaintiff in claim II. In all other respects, plaintiff's complaint fails to state claims upon which relief can be granted.

         At this point, plaintiff has two options: 1) he may either proceed only on the claim identified above; or 2) attempt to cure the deficiencies with respect to other claims in an amended complaint.

         If plaintiff chooses to amend, plaintiff is informed as follows:

         1. His original complaint is, at times, impossible to understand because it is indecipherable. In an amended complaint, plaintiff should take care to write legibly and in a manner which can be understood.

         2. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2), plaintiff may join in one action as many claims as he has against one defendant. Other defendants can be joined to claims, but claims which are only against other defendants generally must be brought in a separate action.

         3. In order to state a claim for damages, plaintiff must allege facts indicating a causal connection between the actions of a defendant and the injury sustained by plaintiff. See Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194-95 (9th Cir. 1998). There can be no liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 unless there is some affirmative link or connection between a defendant's actions and the claimed deprivation. Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976). Furthermore, vague and conclusory allegations of official participation in civil rights violations are not sufficient. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982).

         4. Section 1997(e)(a) of Title 42 of the United States Code provides that “[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, . . . until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.”

         5. Denial or delay of medical care for a prisoner's serious medical needs may constitute a violation of the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976). An individual is liable for such a violation only when injury occurs as a result of the individual's deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Id.

         6. Prison officials generally cannot retaliate against inmates for exercising First Amendment rights. Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 531 (9th Cir. 1985). Because a prisoner's First Amendment rights are necessarily curtailed, however, a successful retaliation claim requires a finding that “the prison authorities' retaliatory action did not advance legitimate goals of the correctional institution or was not tailored narrowly enough to achieve such goals.” Id. at 532. The plaintiff bears the burden of pleading ...


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