United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSING
CERTAIN CLAIMS (ECF No. 23)
Keith Robert Lugo is a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 5,
2018, Plaintiff initiated the instant action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of
California. (ECF No. 1.) The Northern District transferred
this action to the Eastern District of California on January
4, 2019. (ECF No. 7.) On March 1, 2019, Plaintiff's
complaint was screened and an order was filed finding that
Plaintiff had stated a cognizable claim for violation of the
First Amendment based on a delay in delivery of his mail.
(ECF No. 19.) Plaintiff was ordered to either notify the
Court that he was willing to proceed on the claim found to be
cognizable or file an amended complaint. (Id.)
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on March 20, 2019. (ECF
17, 2019, Plaintiff's first amended complaint was
screened and it was found not to state a cognizable claim.
(ECF No. 22.) Plaintiff was granted one final opportunity to
file a second amended complaint. (Id.) Currently
before the Court is Plaintiff's second amended complaint,
filed on July 3, 2019. (ECF No. 23.)
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).
“On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint … is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or …
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
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 (2009) (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's
rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are
entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to
have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v.
Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (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 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The
“sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that
are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility
standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572
F.3d at 969.
Court accepts Plaintiff's allegations in the second
amended complaint as true only for the purpose of
the sua sponte screening requirement under 28 U.S.C.
brings this action against Correctional Officers L. Mayfield,
Caitlan, and Angelina as Defendants in their individual and
official capacities. Plaintiff alleges violation of his right
to receive mail under the First Amendment and his right to
access the court under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) and has been housed
at Valley State Prison (“VSP”) since April 16,
2013. The California Supreme Court sent Plaintiff a legal
notice, dated February 8, 2018, informing him that as of
February 13, 2018, the court would lose jurisdiction over his
petition for review and any relief would have to be sought
through a writ of habeas corpus. The letter was postmarked
February 9, 2018, however, staff did not deliver this piece
of mail until February 20, 2018. On February 27, 2019,
Plaintiff received notice that his petition for review was
returned unfiled because it was not received by February 13,
2018 and the court no longer had jurisdiction.
alleges that long delays and loss of mail are an ongoing
problem in the CDCR, including at VSP. Plaintiff asserts that
Correctional Officers Mayfield, Caitlan, and Angelina, who
all worked in and around the mailroom, knowingly violated the
procedures for processing mail established by law, prison
policy, and custom, and willfully withheld and/or refused to
timely deliver Plaintiff's legal mail. Due to
Mayfield's, Caitlan's, and Angelina's actions
and/or inactions, default was entered, and Plaintiff was
permanently barred from filing a petition for review with the
California Supreme Court that raised colorable issues of
constitutional importance that were critical to
Plaintiff's prospective liberty from prison following an
illegal parole hearing.
states that the issues raised in his petition for review were
whether the Board of Prison Terms violated Senate Bill 261
for failing to apply the legally correct standard of analysis
and failing to give the appropriate weight to the diminished
capacity of juveniles; whether the Board failed to meet the
minimum burden of some evidence in finding that he was not
really a kid. Plaintiff argues that due ...