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Rivera v. Davey

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 22, 2017

RICKY RIVERA, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVE DAVEY, et al., Defendants.

          SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Ricky Rivera (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on December 2, 2016, is currently before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement and Standard

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

         A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. Allegations in Complaint

         Plaintiff is currently housed at California State Prison - Corcoran (“Corcoran”) where the events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff names the following defendants: (1) Warden Dave Davey; (2) Community Resource Manager M. Robicheaux; (3) Christian Chaplain Ed Crain; and (4) S.M.V. Chapoleun, Catholic Priests. Plaintiff contends that defendants violated his First Amendment rights to practice the Jewish obligatory prayers and holiday events during 2014 through 2016.

         Plaintiff alleges that he arrived at Corcoran on June 23, 2014, from Wasco State Prison (“WSP”). While at WSP, Plaintiff was able to practice all requested religious prayers and rituals under the Jewish faith. Upon Plaintiff's arrival at Corcoran, however, the requested prayers and holiday events have been repeatedly denied by Defendants Robicheaux, Crain, Chapoleun and Davey since July 2014.

         Plaintiff contends that he followed all instructional procedures and guidelines after his arrival by submitted numerous CDCR-22 Inmate Request Forms to Facility 3A staff members, including Defendants Davey, Robicheaux, Crain and Chapoleun to provide him with the facility chapel to practice obligatory Jewish prayers and holy day events. At the time of his requests in 2014 and 2015, all other inmates of the Christian, Islamic, Catholic, Buddhist, and Kemectic Services were afforded their obligatory religious services at the facility chapel.

         Plaintiff made personal requests to Defendants Crain and Chapoleun that went without accommodations and resulted in intentional denial of religious services for the Jewish faith. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Crain and Chapoleun intentionally violated his First Amendment rights to practice and observe Jewish prayers and holy day events by repeatedly denying services.

         On August 17 and 24, 2015, and November 21, 2015, Plaintiff sent several CDCR-22 inmate request forms to Defendant Robicheaux (Defendants Crain and Chapoleun's supervisor) requesting her immediate assistance to rectify the continued denial and deprivation of Plaintiff's requested obligatory Jewish prayers and holy day events that were occurring at the facility. Defendant Robicheaux did not respond to Plaintiff's CDCR-22 requests. Plaintiff contends that her failure to rectify the violations committed by Defendants Crain and Chapoleun violated Plaintiff's First Amendment rights.

         On November 15, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a CDCR-602 grievance to Defendant Davey, objecting to Defendants Crain, Chapoleun and Robicheaux's continued failure to comply with policies to afford the Plaintiff his equal opportunity to perform obligatory Jewish prayer services and holy day events that were afformed to all other religious inmates for Catholic, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Kemectic services. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Davey's failure to timely intervene and rectify the violations committed by Defendants Crain, Robicheaux and Chapoleun violated Plaintiff's First Amendment rights to practice the obligatory Jewish prayers and holy day events in Facility 3A in 2014 and 2015. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants Davey, Robicheaux, Crain and Chapoleun intentionally violated Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment right to Equal Protection under the law by failing to provide Plaintiff with equal access to the 3A Facility Chapel religious services that were afforded to all other inmates of Christian, Islamic, Catholic, Buddhist and Kemectic faiths from 2014 through 2016.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, along with ...


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