Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Canada v. Jones

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 16, 2017

RONALD LEE CANADA, Plaintiff,
v.
J. JONES, Defendant.

          ORDER

          CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and seeking relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 requests leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Since plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), his request 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 the initial partial filing fee from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency 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).

         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, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where 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 pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.

         In order to 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.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-557 (2007). In other words, “[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). Furthermore, a claim upon which the court can grant relief has 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, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).

         The court has reviewed plaintiff's complaint and finds that it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under federal law. Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed. The court will, however, grant leave to file an amended complaint.

         Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief concerning mental health treatment. Plaintiff's complaint concerns treatment he received while committed to the California Department of State Hospitals. But when plaintiff filed his complaint, he was housed at North Kern State Prison, and is now housed at the California Health Care Facility. If plaintiff seeks injunctive relief in an amended complaint, he must explain exactly what sort of relief he seeks and the basis for the relief which must concern the treatment he is now receiving. He must also identify a defendant, such as a primary care physician, whom the court could order to provide the relief requested.

         To the extent plaintiff seeks damages in an amended complaint, he must explicitly say so and plaintiff must allege in specific terms how each named defendant is involved. 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).

         It appears plaintiff complains about the use of excessive force. In order to adequately allege a claim for damages based upon excessive force, plaintiff must allege facts showing the amount of force used by a defendant was unnecessary and resulted in a wanton infliction of pain. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 5 (1992). Not every malevolent touch by a prison guard gives rise to a federal cause of action. Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34, 37 (2010). But, the malicious and sadistic use of force to cause harm generally violates contemporary standards of decency. Id.

         Plaintiff also suggests he was retaliated against for filing grievances or other complaints while housed with the Department of State Hospitals. Prison officials generally cannot retaliate against inmates for exercising First Amendment rights. Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 531 (9th Cir. 1985). A First Amendment retaliation claim has five elements: 1) the retaliated-against conduct is protected; 2) a defendant took adverse action against the plaintiff; 3) there is a causal connection between the protected conduct and the adverse action; 4) the defendant's acts would chill future First Amendment activities of a reasonable person; and 5) the retaliatory action did not advance legitimate correctional goals. Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1114-15 (9th Cir. 2012).

         The court cannot refer to a prior pleading in order to make plaintiff's amended complaint complete. Local Rule 220 requires that an amended complaint be complete in itself without reference to any prior pleading. This is because, as a general rule, an amended complaint supersedes the original complaint. See Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d 55, 57 (9th Cir. 1967). Once plaintiff files an amended complaint, the original pleading no longer serves any function in the case. Therefore, in an amended complaint, as in an original complaint, each claim and the involvement of each defendant must be sufficiently alleged.

         Finally, the court notes that plaintiff has several lawsuits pending in this court. In his amended complaint, plaintiff shall not include any claims upon which he is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.