United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IFP AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a county inmate proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,  has filed an application for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court
directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and
forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee
as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
Screening Requirement and Standards
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)).While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
claims that Glenn County Jail officials only provide
envelopes for mail to the attorney handling the inmate's
case and that if the envelope is addressed to any other law
firm, they will refuse to mail it. ECF No. 7 at
He adds that he can only send legal mail to his public
defender, “who refuse[s] to do anything.”
Id. at 5. On one instance, Officer Ladermilk,
purportedly acting upon the orders of Corporal Sullivan,
returned five envelopes to plaintiff, told plaintiff to
remove the letters and to return the envelopes to the Jail.
Plaintiff claims he filed an administrative grievance and
that Officer Callas threatened him so that he would abandon
the grievance. Plaintiff claims he is indigent and should be
provided with the materials necessary to correspond with
lawyers and courts. Id. at 3.
complaint will be dismissed with leave to amend because it
does not identify any claims for relief and the allegations
are too vague and conclusory to otherwise demonstrate that
any particular defendant violated plaintiff's federal
rights by limiting his outgoing mail, interfering with his
access to the courts, or retaliating against him.
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (1)
the violation of a federal constitutional or statutory right;
and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting
under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d
930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). An individual defendant is not
liable on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish the
defendant's personal involvement in the constitutional
deprivation or a causal connection between the
defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged
constitutional deprivation.See Hansen v. Black, 885
F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989); Johnson v. Duffy, 588
F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978).
enjoy a First Amendment right to send and receive mail and to
petition the government for redress of grievances.
Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401, 407 (1989);
O'Keefe v. Van Boening, 82 F.3d 322, 325 (9th
Cir. 1996); Witherow v. Paff, 52 F.3d 264, 265 (9th
Cir. 1995). However, a prison may adopt regulations that
impinge on an inmate's constitutional rights if the
regulations are reasonably related to legitimate penological
interests. Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89 (1987);
Witherow, 52 F.3d at 265. Regulations impacting
outgoing mail must more closely fit their purposes than those
impacting incoming mail, but in neither instance must the
regulation be the least restrictive means of achieving its
purpose. Thornburgh, 490 U.S. at 412;
Witherow, 52 F.3d at 265. “Legal mail”
in the context of the First ...