United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO
DISMISS CASE FOR FAILURE TO STATE CLAIM ECF No. 1 OBJECTIONS
DUE WITHIN 14 DAYS ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ASSIGN
CASE TO DISTRICT JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in this civil
rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff's complaint, filed January 4, 2019, ECF No. 1,
is before the court for screening under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. Plaintiff's factual allegations are not sufficient
to state a claim of constitutional deprivation under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, and, given the nature of the allegations,
amendment of the complaint would be futile. Accordingly, we
recommend that the complaint be dismissed.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
was transferred from California State Prison, Los Angeles
County, to Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in March
2017. See ECF No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff was eventually
sent to the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and
State Prison at Corcoran on June 5, 2017. See Id. On
November 7, 2017, plaintiff was summoned to pick up his
possessions, which had been stored during the transfer since
March. See Id. Before his transfer, plaintiff's
possessions, including a battery charger and typewriter were
in “good sound working condition.” Id.
However, when plaintiff was re-issued his property, the
typewriter “had been damaged and was no longer in good
functional operational condition.” Id.
Plaintiff alleges that defendants mishandled documenting,
tracking, and protecting his possessions during the transfer,
which resulted in the damage to his typewriter. See
Id. at 4-8.
SCREENING AND PLEADING REQUIREMENTS
district court must screen a prisoner's complaint that
seeks relief against a governmental entity, its officer, or
its employee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any
portion of the complaint that is frivolous or malicious,
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
complaint must contain a short and plain statement that
plaintiff is entitled to relief, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and
provide “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The plausibility
standard does not require detailed allegations, but legal
conclusions do not suffice. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). If the allegations “do not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, ” the complaint states no claim.
Id. at 679. The complaint need not identify “a
precise legal theory.” Kobold v. Good Samaritan
Reg'l Med. Ctr., 832 F.3d 1024, 1038 (9th Cir. 2016)
(quoting Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 530
(2011)). Instead, what plaintiff must state is a
“claim”-a set of “allegations that give
rise to an enforceable right to relief.” Nagrampa
v. MailCoups, Inc., 469 F.3d 1257, 1264 n.2 (9th Cir.
2006) (en banc) (citations omitted). The court must construe
a litigant's complaint liberally when he is proceeding
without counsel. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972) (per curiam).
1983 allows a private citizen to sue for the deprivation of a
right secured by federal law. See 42 U.S.C. §
1983; Manuel v. City of Joliet, 137 S.Ct. 911, 916
(2017). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must (1) allege the deprivation of a right secured
by the U.S. Constitution and laws of the United States and
(2) allege that the deprivation was committed by a person
acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). A person deprives another of a
constitutional right, “within the meaning of §
1983, ‘if he does an affirmative act, participates in
another's affirmative act, or omits to perform an act
which he is legally required to do that causes the
deprivation of which complaint is made.'”
Preschooler II v. Clark Cty. Sch. Bd. of Trs., 479
F.3d 1175, 1183 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)).
alleges that his typewriter was damaged during a prison
transfer. However, allegations concerning the loss or damage
of personal property do not state an actionable
constitutional claim. See Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S.
517, 533 (1984) (“[A]n unauthorized intentional
deprivation of property by a state employee does not
constitute a violation of the procedural requirements of the
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment if a
meaningful post-deprivation remedy for the loss is
available.”). A meaningful remedy is available through
the California court system. Therefore, this claim should be
screened plaintiff's complaint and find that it fails to
state a cognizable claim. Given the nature of his
allegations, amendment would be futile. See Noll v.
Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987) (holding
that pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the
deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend,
unless the complaint's deficiencies could not be cured by
amendment). Accordingly, we recommend that the complaint be
dismissed without prejudice to filing in state court.
clerk of court is directed to assign this case to a district
judge who will review the findings and recommendations.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
recommend that plaintiffs complaint, ECF No. 1, be dismissed
for failure to state a claim on which relief could be
granted. The complaint should be ...