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Wahl v. Sutton

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 16, 2018

PETER GERARD WAHL, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN SUTTON, et al., Defendants.

          SCREENING ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 20) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Peter Gerard Wahl (“Plaintiff”), a former state prisoner, is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action on October 19, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) On July 25, 2017, the Court screened Plaintiff's first amended complaint and granted him leave to amend. (ECF No. 19.) Plaintiff's second amended complaint, filed on August 14, 2017, is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 20.)

         II. 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); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         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 Atlantic 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. United States Secret Service, 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.

         A. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff, formerly confined at Wasco State Prison, brings suit against the following defendants: (1) Warden John Sutton; (2) John/Jane Doe, Clerk of Orange County Superior Court; (3) John and Jane Does, Classification Staff.

         Plaintiff alleges that he was knowingly and intentionally deprived of liberty interests by the Orange County Clerk/Prosecutor and Warden Sutton and his classification staff. Plaintiff contends that he was sentenced to 16 months in August 2016 with one month credit. He sought relief under Prop 47 after his commitment to Wasco State Prison. On November 30, 2016, the Orange County Court ordered Plaintiff resentenced to 6 months, deemed served. The Defendant Clerk of Court was ordered to inform proper authorities, but did not comply until December 1, 2016, after Plaintiff contacted the clerk.

         Defendant Sutton and Classification Staff were notified by Plaintiff via grievances after receipt of the order by Plaintiff, but not by the Clerk, until December 21, 2016. Defendant Sutton and staff failed to release Plaintiff until 8 days after receipt of the order.

         Plaintiff further alleges that the record of previous efforts to litigate this issue conveys that Plaintiff was discovering how the mishap happened after the belated release on December 29, 2016. Plaintiff asserts that he extended every effort practically feasible in order to obtain relief from the unlawful imprisonment. Plaintiff wrote to the Governor's office and even submitted a claim against the Government.

         Plaintiff contends that defendants, in their individual and official capacities, inhibited, delayed and impaired Plaintiff's release, and he suffered physical, psychological and emotional duress, along with loss of liberty. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief and compensatory and punitive damages.

         B. ...


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