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Lawson v. Fisher

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 22, 2017

JOHN LAWSON, Plaintiff,
v.
R. FISHER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DIRECTING CLERK'S OFFICE TO ASSIGN CASE TO A DISTRICT JUDGE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 9)

          MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         On October 10, 2017, this Court screened Plaintiff's complaint and found it stated no cognizable claims. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff was given the option to file an amended complaint. (Id.)

         Plaintiff's first amended complaint (ECF No. 9) is before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement

         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 com plaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous, malicious, ” or 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).

         II. Pleading Standard

         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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiffs must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677-78.

         Section 1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). To state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

         Under section 1983 the Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), but nevertheless, the mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting the plausibility standard, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff complains of acts that occurred during his incarceration at Valley State Prison (“VSP”). He names as Defendants (1) D. Gamble, Correctional Officer, and (2) M. Barnett, Correctional Officer.

         His allegations, largely unchanged from his original complaint, can be fairly summarized as follows:

         Plaintiff was placed in Administrative Segregation for non-disciplinary reasons. Reportedly his property was packed and removed from his cell by Defendants Gamble and Barnett, but Plaintiff speculates that Gamble allowed inmates to pack the property. Some items were confiscated because their possession was against prison rules. Plaintiff was given a CDCR 1083 Inmate Property Inventory sheet that listed all items packed and an attached document listing items confiscated. Plaintiff was not allowed to look over the lists; Defendant Gamble told him to ...


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