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Solorio v. Ducart

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 12, 2019

C. E. DUCART, et al., Defendants.




         Plaintiff, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the California Correctional Institution, has filed the instant pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges various violations of his constitutional rights during his previous incarceration at Pelican Bay State Prison (“PBSP”). The Court has granted his motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. 12.

         Plaintiff's twenty-four-page complaint raises multiple allegations with respect to events that occurred at PBSP sometime between 2016 to 2017. Venue is proper because the events giving rise to the aforementioned claims are alleged to have occurred at PBSP, which is located in this judicial district. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

         The Court now conducts its initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.


         A. Standard of Review

         A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See Id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” To comport with Rule 8, “[s]pecific facts are not necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. The United States Supreme Court has explained the “plausible on its face” standard of Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide the complaint's framework, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         A supervisor may be liable under section 1983 upon a showing of personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation or a sufficient causal connection between the supervisor's wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation. Redman v. County of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435, 1446 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc) (citation omitted). A supervisor therefore generally “is only liable for constitutional violations of his subordinates if the supervisor participated in or directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them.” Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). This includes evidence that a supervisor implemented “a policy so deficient that the policy itself is a repudiation of constitutional rights and is the moving force of the constitutional violation.” Redman, 942 F.2d at 1446; see Jeffers v. Gomez, 267 F.3d 895, 917 (9th Cir. 2001).

         B. Legal Claims

         Plaintiff asserts multiple claims for relief against a total of twenty defendants, from whom he seeks both declaratory relief and monetary damages. As mentioned above, the allegations in the complaint cover a span of time of almost one year, specifically from May 2016 through March 2017, during which period Plaintiff was incarcerated at PBSP. When the allegations in the complaint concerning his confinement at PBSP are liberally construed, Plaintiff seems to state the following claims for relief: (1) unlawful deprivation of Plaintiff's property in May 2016; (2) denial of legal materials on October 4, 2016 and failure to train properly the prison librarian; (3) denial of medical care on November 4, 2016 and failure to train properly medical personnel; (4) discrimination using “anti-Muslim slurs” and denial of Halal meals on January 3, 2017, as well as failure to train properly correctional officers not to discriminate based on religion; (5) retaliation (based on Plaintiff filing grievances) by spreading “false rumors” to other prisoners causing Plaintiff to be in danger while housed in general population on February 20, 2017, and failure to train properly correctional officers to prevent retaliation; (6) retaliation (again based on Plaintiff filing grievances) and “mail censorship” on March 9, 2017; and (7) failing to refund Plaintiff's money for “unfair business practice[s]” by the prison canteen after the loss of items from his order on March 12, 2017. Plaintiff names the aforementioned twenty defendants in connection with the noted claims.

         Having reviewed the allegations in the complaint, the Court finds the following pleading deficiencies require that the ...

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