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Woulldar v. Contreras

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

November 20, 2017

BERNARD WOULLDAR, Plaintiff,
v.
CONTRERAS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          JOHN D. EARLY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

         On November 14, 2017, Plaintiff Bernard Woulldar (“Plaintiff”), who is currently incarcerated at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility (“the Jail”) in Los Angeles, California, filed a pro se Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983” or § 1983”). Dkt. 1. The Complaint names Deputy Contreras, Sergeant Villareal, and Sergeant Brown, all apparently employees of the Jail, in their official and unofficial capacities. Complaint at 4. All of the Defendants are sued in their individual and official capacities. Id. Plaintiff seeks “compensation for all reasons listed under law.” Id. at 6.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, the Court must screen the Complaint before ordering service for purposes of determining whether the action is frivolous or malicious; or fails to state a claim on which relief might be granted; or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend.

         II.

         SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

         The following represents the totality of the factual allegations Plaintiff offers to support his claims (Complaint at 5):

[Plaintiff] was racially profiled on different occasions and subjective to unlawful detainment in segregation [without] just cause. [Plaintiff] was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and deliberate indifference, pain and suffering, and mental anguish and denied proper and adequate law library access and phone calls[, ] as well as visitation.

         III.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for failure to state a claim for two reasons: (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). In determining whether the complaint states a claim, its factual allegations must be taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Love v. United States, 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1989). Courts construe the allegations of pro se complaints liberally. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam); see also Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (as amended). However, “a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quotation omitted).

         A “plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement 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 . . . on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, a plaintiff must allege a minimum factual and legal basis for each claim that is sufficient to give each defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claims are and the grounds upon which they rest. See, e.g., Brazil v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 66 F.3d 193, 199 (9th Cir. 1995); McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991). Moreover, failure to comply with Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure constitutes an independent basis for dismissal of a complaint even if the claims in a complaint are not found to be wholly without merit. See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 1996); Nevijel v. Northcoast Life Ins. Co., 651 F.2d 671, 673 (9th Cir. 1981).

         If the Court finds that a complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim, the Court has discretion to dismiss with or without leave to amend. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-30 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears possible that the defects in the complaint could be corrected, especially if a plaintiff is pro se. Id. at 1130-31; see also Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995) (noting that “[a] pro se litigant must be given leave to amend his or her complaint, and some notice of its deficiencies, unless it is absolutely clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by amendment”). However, if, after careful consideration, it is clear that a complaint cannot be cured by amendment, the Court may dismiss without leave to amend. Cato, 70 F.3d at 1105-06; see, e.g., Chaset v. ...


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