United States District Court, E.D. California
CAROLYN K. DELANEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and seeking relief
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This proceeding was
referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and plaintiff has consented to have
all matters in this action before a United States Magistrate
Judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
requests leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Since plaintiff
has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), his request will be granted.
Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of
$350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a),
1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the
appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee
from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the
Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated
for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust
account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate
agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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 has conducted the required screening and finds that
there are several problems with the complaint, most notably:
Plaintiff asserts several different claims against several
different defendants. In general, a plaintiff may assert as
many claims as he likes against a particular defendant.
Claims against other defendants, however, must be related to
a claim against first as described in Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 20(a)(2). For example, if a claim against a second
defendant arose out of the same incident as a claim against
the first, the claim against the second defendant may be
included in the complaint.
Plaintiff's complaint is too long. Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that complaints generally be
“short and plain.” Although the Federal Rules
adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair
notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and
succinctly. Jones v. Cmty. Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d
646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984).
Plaintiff identifies several persons as defendants without
adequately identifying how they took action amounting to a
violation of plaintiff's civil rights. For example,
plaintiff identifies certain persons as defendants because
they denied inmate grievances. Generally speaking, however,
an inmate has no freestanding constitutional right to a
prison or jail grievance procedure. Ramirez v.
Galazza, 334 F.3d 850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003). Additional,
while plaintiff may have suffered injury which may amount to
a violation, plaintiff identifies defendants not adequately
linked to the injury. There can be no liability under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 unless there is some affirmative link or
connection between a defendant's actions and the claimed
deprivation. Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976).
these reasons, plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed.
The court will, however, grant leave to file an amended
plaintiff chooses to amend, plaintiff must adhere to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2) with respect to proper
joinder of defendants. Rather than improperly joining
defendants in this action, plaintiff must bring multiple
lawsuits. Also, the amended complaint cannot exceed 20 pages.
Finally, plaintiff should omit any defendant if plaintiff
cannot point to facts suggesting a connection between the
actions of that defendant and a deprivation of rights.
is informed that the court cannot refer to a prior pleading
in order to make plaintiffs amended complaint complete. Local
Rule 220 requires that an amended complaint be complete in
itself without reference to any prior pleading. This is
because, as a general rule, an amended complaint supersedes
the original complaint. See Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d
55, 57 (9th Cir. 1967). Once plaintiff files an amended
complaint, the original pleading no longer serves any
function in the case. Therefore, in an amended complaint, as
in an original complaint, each claim and the involvement of
each defendant must be sufficiently alleged.
accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiffs request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(ECF No. 5) is granted.
2. Plaintiff is obligated to pay the statutory filing fee of
$350.00 for this action. All fees shall be collected and paid
in accordance with this court's order to the Director of
the California Department of ...