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France v. Lunceford

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 25, 2019

MICHAEL RAY FRANCE, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSS LUNCEFORD; CHRIS DEWEY; DAVID EYSTER; CITY OF UKIAH, Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE

          WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, a California state prisoner, filed this pro se civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against three officials at San Quentin State Prison. He is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. For the reasons discussed below, the complaint is ordered served upon defendants.

         ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which 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. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         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." "Specific 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, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (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, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 1974.

         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 deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         B. Legal Claims

         When liberally construed, plaintiff's allegations state a cognizable claim against defendants for violating his constitutional rights by intimidating a witness and presenting false evidence at this criminal trial.

         CONCLUSION

         For the reasons set out above, it is hereby ordered as follows:

         1. The clerk shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of the complaint with all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon defendants Officer Ross Lunceford and Chief Chris Dewey at the Ukiah Police Department; Charles Eyster at the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office; and the City of Ukiah. A courtesy copy of the complaint with attachments and this order shall also be ...


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