United States District Court, E.D. California
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and seeking relief
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This proceeding was
referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
requests leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Since plaintiff
has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), his request will be granted.
Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of
$350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a),
1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the
appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee
from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the
Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated
for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust
account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate
agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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 where 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); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
order to 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.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555-557 (2007). In other words, “[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).
Furthermore, a claim upon which the court can grant relief
has 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, 93-94 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
court has reviewed plaintiff's complaint and finds that
it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
under federal law. Plaintiff's complaint must be
dismissed. The court will, however, grant leave to file an
amended complaint. ///// As to the contents of his amended
complaint, plaintiff is informed as follows:
1. Plaintiff must allege in specific terms how each named
defendant is involved. 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 v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976).
Furthermore, vague and conclusory allegations of official
participation in civil rights violations are not sufficient.
Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th
2. The law with respect to an inmate's right to access to
courts was discussed in detail by the United States Supreme
Court in Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996). Most
importantly in Lewis, the court held that for a
prisoner to be successful on a denial of access to courts
claim, he must show not only denial of access, but also
injury resulting from the denial of access such as the
inability to file a complaint based upon at least arguably
actionable harm. Id. at 351.
is informed that the court cannot refer to a prior pleading
in order to make plaintiff's amended complaint complete.
Local Rule 220 requires that an amended complaint be complete
in itself without reference to any prior pleading. This is
because, as a general rule, an amended complaint supersedes
the original complaint. See Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d
55, 57 (9th Cir. 1967). Once plaintiff files an amended
complaint, the original pleading no longer serves any
function in the case. Therefore, in an amended complaint, as
in an original complaint, each claim and the involvement of
each defendant must be sufficiently alleged.
the court notes that plaintiff has filed a motion for summary
judgement. This motion is premature and will be denied
without prejudice. Plaintiff should review Rule 56 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which dictates when a motion
for summary judgment can be filed.
accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's request for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 2) is granted.
2. Plaintiff is obligated to pay the statutory filing fee of
$350.00 for this action. All fees shall be collected and paid
in accordance with this court's order to the Director of
the California Department of ...