United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in this action
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court
previously found that plaintiff's complaint impermissibly
attempted to join multiple unrelated claims against more than
one defendant. ECF No. 11. Accordingly, the complaint was
dismissed with leave to amend. Id. Plaintiff has now
filed an amended complaint (ECF No. 17) which the court must
to § 1915(e)(2), the court must dismiss the case at any
time if it determines the allegation of poverty is untrue, or
if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief against an immune defendant.
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, see Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), a complaint, or
portion thereof, should be dismissed for failure to state a
claim if it fails to set forth “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554,
562-563 (2007) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41
(1957)); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
“[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief'
requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of a cause of action's elements will not do.
Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level on the assumption that all of the
complaint's allegations are true.” Id.
(citations omitted). Dismissal is appropriate based either on
the lack of cognizable legal theories or the lack of pleading
sufficient facts to support cognizable legal theories.
Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d
696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must
accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question,
Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trustees, 425 U.S.
738, 740 (1976), construe the pleading in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the
plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395
U.S. 411, 421 (1969). A pro se plaintiff must satisfy the
pleading requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include 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.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
amended complaint has not addressed the deficiency that led
the court to dismiss its predecessor - it still contains
multiple, unrelated claims against more than one defendant.
Additionally, the claims are insufficiently plead insofar as
they lack factual context.
plaintiff alleges that, in February of 2018, defendant Wise
ordered his subordinates not to allow plaintiff access to the
law library. ECF No. 17 at 6, 9. Plaintiff does not state how
long this denial of access persisted or whether he suffered
some litigative prejudice as a result thereof. See Lewis
v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351 (1996) (holding that, to
establish a colorable claim premised on law library access an
inmate must “demonstrate that the alleged shortcomings
in the library or legal assistance program hindered his
efforts to pursue a legal claim.”).
plaintiff claims that, in March of 2018, defendant Martinez
ordered his subordinates to restrain plaintiff and transport
him to segregated housing. Id. at 5, 9. Plaintiff
appears to allege that Martinez's actions were undertaken
in retaliation, though the precise motive attributed to
Martinez is never explicitly stated. Regardless, plaintiff
alleges that Martinez's actions were a violation of his
constitutional rights. Id. at 9.
plaintiff claims that defendant Scotland interfered with his
First Amendment right to send and receive prison mail.
Id. at 5, 9. He alleges that Scotland opened
confidential letters which he had mailed to the associate
warden. Id. at 5. In light of the allegation that
these letters were mailed to the associate warden, they are
not “legal mail” and plaintiff's
constitutional rights were not violated by Scotland's
opening of the letters outside plaintiff's presence.
See, e.g., Hall v. Pelican Bay State Prison, 2014
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123451, 2014 WL 4364856, at *4 (N.D. Cal.
Sept. 3, 2014) (“Only mail from [inmate's] own
attorney (and not mail from opposing counsel or from a public
agency or court) would be [defined as] confidential legal
plaintiff alleges, that in May of 2018, defendant Torres
ordered two of his subordinates to transport plaintiff to
“suicide watch.” Id. at 6, 8.
Torres' motivation is never explicitly alleged in the
complaint. Plaintiff appears to suggest that the transfer was
linked to his invocation of his right to refuse medical
treatment, though he never elaborates on what treatment was
refused. Id. at 6.
plaintiff claims that defendant Mayers also (separately from
the first cause of action) denied him access to the prison
law library. Id. at 10. The complaint does not
allege when this denial of access occurred, how long it