United States District Court, E.D. California
WILLIAM J. GRADFORD, Plaintiff,
STANISLAUS COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT, et al.,
FIRST SCREENING ORDER ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED
COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
(ECF No. 26.) THIRTY DAY DEADLINE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED
S. AUSTIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
J. Gradford (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. On March 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed the Complaint
commencing this action. (ECF No. 1.) On August 31, 2018,
Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint as a matter of
course. (ECF No. 26.)
First Amended Complaint is now before the court for
screening. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
in forma pauperis statute provides that
“[n]otwithstanding 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).
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.P. 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.P. 8(a)(2). “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.
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
(2007)), 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). While factual
allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. 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)).
section 1983, 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) (emphasis added). This requires the presentation
of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim
for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss v. U.S.
Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The
mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this
plausibility standard. Id.
SUMMARY OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
is a state prisoner incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison
in Ione, California. The events at issue in the First Amended
Complaint allegedly occurred at the Stanislaus County Safety
Center in Modesto, California, when Plaintiff was detained
there as a pretrial detainee in the custody of the Stanislaus
County Sheriff. Plaintiff names as defendants, Deputy Mejia
and Deputy YouseFPoor (collectively,
alleges as follow. On March 29, 2017, Deputy Mejia opened and
read Plaintiff's legal mail letter coming from the U.S.
District Court's Fresno Division, done out of
Plaintiff's presence and without Plaintiff's
permission, and after being told not to do so by higher
March 31, 2017, Deputy YouseFPoor purposely opened and read
two of Plaintiff's incoming legal letters from the U.S.
District Court, done out of Plaintiff's presence and
without Plaintiff's permission, on the same day those two
legal letters arrived and after being told not to do so by
higher ranking deputies, those being Lieutenant Kent [not a
defendant], and Sergeant Johnson [not a defendant].
Mejia and YouseFPoor and other deputies have been retaliating
against Plaintiff because on December 5, 2016, Plaintiff
witnessed Deputy Teixiera [not a defendant] throw another
inmate against the wall while the inmate was having a seizure
on the floor, and Plaintiff spoke up. Soon after, Deputy
McCarthy [not a defendant] told Plaintiff that if he knew
what was good for him he would keep his mouth shut. Plaintiff
fears the deputies because a few years ago one of their