United States District Court, E.D. California
JOSEPH NEALE, JR. Plaintiff,
STU SHERMAN, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF
ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 1) FOURTEEN-DAY
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Screening Requirement and Standard
Joseph Neale, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff's complaint, filed on March 2, 2018, is
currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 1.)
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).
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).
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). 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.
is a state prisoner currently housed at the California
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran, California,
where the events in the complaint are alleged to have
occurred. Plaintiff names the following defendants: (1)
Warden Stu Sherman; (2) Chief Deputy Warden Maurice Junious;
and (3) Associate Warden - Housing K. Comaites.
claims that four large boxes of his personal and legal
property were lost, misplaced stolen, and/or discarded.
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on March 13, 2008, after
being threatened by a cellmate, he was compelled to request a
cell change. Plaintiff explains that usually in such a
circumstance an inmate is moved to a different cell within
the General Population, but Plaintiff was instead sent to Ad
Seg, which allowed custody to confiscate all of his property.
In total, Plaintiff asserts that six large boxes of her legal
and personal property were seized. Several months later, when
Plaintiff was released from Ad Seg, only two small boxes of
his personal property were returned to him. Plaintiff alleges
that all of his legal property, trial transcripts, discovery,
ethnological and penological research data, his open letter
to the general American public about prison administration,
management, and the treatment of inmates, and his personal
intellectual properties, etc., were never returned to him.
contends that he was emotionally, mentally, intellectually,
psychologically and physically devastated by the loss of all
his legal and personal property. Plaintiff is asking the
Court to compel the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation to find and return his property or to
compensate him financially for its value in the amount of
The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed
Every person who, under color of [state law] ... subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States ...
to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution ... shall be liable to the party
injured in an action ...