United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (DOC.
K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Damon Newquist, is a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As discussed below,
Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable claim upon which relief
may be granted and the Complaint is
DISMISSED with leave to file a first amended
Screening Requirement and Standard
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or
any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). A complaint will be dismissed if it lacks
a cognizable legal theory or fails to allege sufficient facts
under a cognizable legal theory. See Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Department, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil
actions, with limited exceptions, ” none of which
applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema
N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a).
A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief .
. . .” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a). “Such a statement
must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the
plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512.
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 (2009), quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual
allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are
not. Iqbal. at 678; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009);
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557.
“plaintiffs [now] face a higher burden of pleadings
facts . . ., ” Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d
949, 977 (9th Cir. 2009), the pleadings of pro se
prisoners are still construed liberally and are afforded the
benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338,
342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, “the liberal pleading
standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual
allegations, ” Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 330 n.9 (1989), “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) quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d
266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982), and 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). The “sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is
not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely
consistent with' a defendant's liability” fall
short of satisfying the plausibility standard.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949;
Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
chooses to file a first amended complaint, Plaintiff should
make it as concise as possible in no more than
twenty-five (25) pages. Plaintiff should state
which of his constitutional rights he believes were violated
by each Defendant and the facts that support each contention.
Plaintiff need not and should not cite legal authority for
his claims in a first amended complaint. If Plaintiff files a
first amended complaint, his factual allegations will be
screened under the legal standards and authorities set forth
in this order.
Plaintiff refers to exhibits in the Complaint, no exhibits
are attached. The Court is not a repository for the
parties' evidence. Originals, or copies of evidence
(i.e., prison or medical records, witness affidavits, etc.)
need not be submitted until the course of litigation brings
the evidence into question--for example, on a motion for
summary judgment, at trial, or when requested by the Court.
If Plaintiff attaches exhibits to his amended complaint, each
exhibit must be specifically referenced. Fed. R. Civ. Pro.
10(c). For example, Plaintiff must state “see Exhibit
A” or something similar in order to direct the Court to
the specific exhibit Plaintiff is referencing. If the exhibit
consists of more than one page, Plaintiff must also reference
the specific page of the exhibit (i.e. “See Exhibit A,
point, the submission of evidence is premature as Plaintiff
is only required to state a prima facie claim for relief.
Plaintiff is reminded that, for screening purposes, the Court
must assume that Plaintiff's factual allegations are
true. It is unnecessary for a plaintiff to submit exhibits in
support of the allegations in a complaint.