United States District Court, E.D. California
KENDALL J. NEWMAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a county jail inmate, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff's amended complaint is before the court.
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).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221,
1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous when it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The
critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however
inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis.
See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir.
1989), superseded by statute as stated in Lopez
v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000)
(“[A] judge may dismiss [in forma pauperis] claims
which are based on indisputably meritless legal theories or
whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.”);
Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
“requires only ‘a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). In order to survive
dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint must
contain more than “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action;” it must contain factual
allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Id. at 555.
However, “[s]pecific facts are not necessary; the
statement [of facts] 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) (quoting Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at
555, citations and internal quotations marks omitted). In
reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must
accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question,
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93, and construe the pleading
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other
grounds, Davis v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984).
now sues the Sacramento County Courthouse, the People of the
State of California, and Deputy District Attorney Jason
Stration alleging false arrest and false imprisonment.
Plaintiff claims that he was held for seven days straight
before being brought before a magistrate in violation of
California Penal Code § 825. Plaintiff states his lawyer
Amanda Massimini brought it to the state judge's
attention on October 19, 2018, but forced plaintiff to take a
no contest plea bargain. Plaintiff seeks money damages and
unspecified declaratory relief.
the court notes plaintiff has not named a proper defendant.
The Sacramento County Courthouse and the “People of the
State of California” are not proper defendants. 42
U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, the deputy district attorney
is entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity. See Van
de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 341 (2009) (state
prosecutors are entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity
for acts taken in their official capacity); Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 427, 430-31 (1976) (holding
prosecutors absolutely immune from civil suits for damages
under § 1983 for initiating criminal prosecutions and
presenting cases); Olsen v. Idaho State Bd. of
Medicine, 363 F.3d 916, 922 (9th Cir. 2004)
(“Absolute immunity is generally accorded to judges and
prosecutors functioning in their official
court has reviewed the complaint pursuant to § 1915A and
finds it must be dismissed because the claims asserted in the
complaint are solely based on state law. Plaintiff relies
on California Penal Code section 825 which appears to require
that arrestees in California are to be brought before a
magistrate for an in-person hearing within 48 hours of
arrest. Id. However, this court cannot consider
California law as a basis for section 1983 liability. Indeed,
the “Constitution does not require a personal
appearance.” Jones v. City of Santa Monica,
382 F.3d 1052, 1055 (9th Cir. 2004) (“Just as probable
cause for an arrest warrant may be determined without an
appearance by the suspect, so may probable cause for
detention after a warrantless arrest.”); see also
Brainerd v. Cty. of Lake, 357 Fed.Appx. 88, 91 (9th Cir.
2009). Also, the Constitution does not require that an
arrestee's probable cause determination coincide with his
first appearance before a magistrate or the process by which
bail is set. Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 123-24
(1975) (“It may be found desirable, for example, to
make the probable cause determination at the suspect's
first appearance before a judicial officer or the
determination may be incorporated into the procedure for
setting bail or fixing other conditions of pretrial release
... .”) (internal quotations omitted); Jones,
382 F.3d at 1055 (“Although the Supreme Court . . .
stated that States may choose to incorporate a post-arrest
probable cause determination into the suspect's first
appearance before a judicial officer or into the procedure
for setting bail (thereby involving a personal appearance),
such incorporation was a suggestion, not a constitutional
requirement.”) (internal quotations omitted).
if plaintiff wishes to challenge his no contest plea as
involuntary, he must do so by filing a petition for writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. As a general rule,
a claim that challenges the fact or duration of a
prisoner's confinement should be addressed by filing a
habeas corpus petition, while a claim that challenges the
conditions of confinement should be addressed by filing a
civil rights action. See Wolff v. McDonnell, 418
U.S. 539, 554 (1974); Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475, 499-500 (1973); Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d
850, 858-859 (9th Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 541 U.S.
it is unclear whether plaintiff can amend to identify a
constitutional violation, in an abundance of caution, the
court will grant plaintiff one final opportunity to amend.
plaintiff chooses to amend the complaint, plaintiff must
demonstrate how the conditions about which he complains
resulted in a deprivation of plaintiff's constitutional
rights. See, e.g., West, 487 U.S. at 48.
Also, the complaint must allege in specific terms how each
named defendant is involved. Rizzo v. Goode, 423
U.S. 362, 371 (1976). There can be no liability under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 unless there is some affirmative link or
connection between a defendant's actions and the claimed
deprivation. Rizzo, 423 U.S. at 371; May v.
Enomoto, 633 F.2d 164, 167 (9th Cir. 1980). Furthermore,