United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a former state prisoner and now a civil detainee, is
proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He has filed an application to proceed in
forma pauperis (ECF No. 8).
Forma Pauperis Application
has submitted the affidavit required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a) showing that he is unable to prepay fees and costs or
give security therefor. Accordingly, the request to proceed
in forma pauperis will be granted.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court is directed to
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
se plaintiff, like other litigants, 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.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
is a civil detainee at Coalinga State Hospital. He is
detained as a sexually violent predator (“SVP”)
under California's Sexually Violent Predator Act
(“SVPA”), California Welfare and Institutions
Code, section 6600 et seq. ECF No. 1 at 3. On April
20, 2017, Dr. Coles and Dr. Miculian each updated their
evaluations of plaintiff as an SVP. Id. Both found
that plaintiff met the criteria as an SVP and recommended his
placement in a confined facility for treatment. Id.
Plaintiff claims a loss of liberty without due process and
seeks damages as relief. Id. at 24.
names nine defendants, alleging as follows: Defendants Coles
and Miculian's reports relied on inadmissible hearsay.
Id. at 4. Defendants Clendenin and Edens are
“responsible for the deficient policies, protocols and
customs and practices within the State Hospitals that is or
does cause constitutional violations.” Id.
Defendants Aguilar, Rokop, Houston, and DiCiro caused the
state evaluators' reports to be “out of
compliance.” Id. at 5-6. Defendant Whiting
caused the evaluation protocol to be outdated, thereby
violating the due process rights of those who are subjected
to evaluations. Id. at 7.
challenge to his updated evaluations and resulting loss of
liberty under the SVPA is not cognizable in this § 1983
action because it is barred by the rule announced in Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Heck holds
that if success in a section 1983 action would implicitly
question the validity of confinement or its duration, the
plaintiff must first show that the underlying conviction was
reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order,
declared invalid by a state tribunal, or questioned by the
grant of a writ of habeas corpus. Muhammad v. Close,
540 U.S. 749, 751 (2004); see also Huftile v.
Miccio-Fonseca, 410 F.3d 1136, 1139-41 (9th Cir. 2005)
(applying Heck to SVPA civil commitment). If
plaintiff were successful in this action, it would call into
question the validity of his continued confinement under the
SVPA. Because plaintiff's order of confinement has not
been reversed, expunged, or declared invalid, his damages
claims are barred by Heck.
this reason, the court finds that plaintiff's complaint
must be dismissed without leave to amend. See Gardner v.
Martino, 563 F.3d 981, 990 (9th Cir. 2009); Silva v.
Di Vittorio, 658 F.3d 1090, 1105 (9th Cir. 2011)
(“Dismissal of a pro se complaint without leave to
amend is proper only if it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment.” (internal quotation marks omitted));
Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir.
1995) (“[A] district court should grant leave to amend