Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Patterson v. Forbes

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 9, 2019

BRYAN DAMON PATTERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
T. FORBES, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          DENNIS M. COTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint (ECF No. 17) for failing to state a First Amendment access to courts claim and failing to state a First Amendment retaliation claim. Specifically, Defendant argues Plaintiff failed to allege an actual injury related to his access to courts claim, and Plaintiff suffered only de minimis harm and failed to allege Defendant acted because of Plaintiff's protected conduct related to his retaliation claim.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed his civil rights complaint on September 21, 2018, asserting Defendant violated his First Amendment right to access courts and his First Amendment right to be free from retaliation. ECF No. 1. On October 24, 2018, this Court screened the complaint and determined that sufficient facts existed for the complaint to pass screening and authorized service to Defendant T. Forbes. ECF No. 9. Defendant returned the waivers of service on January 31, 2019. ECF No. 16. Defendant filed his motion to dismiss on February 14, 2019. ECF No. 17. Plaintiff filed his opposition to Defendant's motion to dismiss on March 4, 2019, and Defendant filed his reply on March 11, 2019. ECF Nos. 18, 19.

         B. Plaintiff's Claims

         Plaintiff's complaint raises two claims: (1) Plaintiff alleges Defendant T. Forbes violated his First Amendment right to access courts by continuously and intentionally failing to process his in forma pauperis (IFP) application and trust account statement for a current case pending in the Northern District of California; (2) Plaintiff alleges Defendant T. Forbes violated his First Amendment right to be free from retaliation for protected conduct by failing to process his in forma pauperis application and trust account statement in that same litigation currently pending in the Northern District of California.

         C. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

          Defendant argues Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted for three reasons. First, Defendant argues Plaintiff failed to adequately plead an access to courts claim because Plaintiff has not pleaded, and did not suffer, an actual injury. Second, Defendant argues Plaintiff failed to state a retaliation claim because Plaintiff fails to allege an adverse action that is more than a de minimis harm. Third, Defendant argues Plaintiff failed to state a retaliation claim because Plaintiff did not allege Defendant acted in retaliation of some form of protected conduct.

         II. MOTION TO DISMISS LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides or motions to dismiss for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” “To survive a motion to dismiss, a omplaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007)). “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.” Id. The court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint. Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hospital Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), and construe the pleading in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). A pro se complaint must contain more than “naked assertion[s], ” “labels and conclusions, ” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim should not be granted unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claims which would entitle him to relief. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)). Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curium). The court must give a pro se litigant leave to amend his complaint “unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir. 1995)). However, the court's liberal interpretation of a pro se complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not pled. Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). In ruling on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court “may ‘generally consider only allegations contained in the pleadings, exhibits attached to the complaint, and matters properly subject to judicial notice.'” Outdoor Media Grp., Inc. v. City of Beaumont, 506 F.3d 895, 899 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756, 763 (9th Cir. 2007)).

         III. ANALYSIS A.

         Access to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.