United States District Court, E.D. California
KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTARTE JUDGE
is a state prisoner, proceeding without counsel. Plaintiff
seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and has
requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915. This proceeding was referred to this
court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in
forma pauperis is granted.
is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial
filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 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
to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's 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 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1989), superseded by statute as stated in Lopez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 Twombly, 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).
complaint, plaintiff names as defendants 23 individuals who
work at Mule Creek State Prison (“MCSP”) or the
California Department of Corrections (“CDCR”),
including the Warden and Acting Warden at MCSP, and the
Secretary of CDCR.
Multiple, Unrelated Incidents
includes allegations concerning multiple, unrelated incidents
that occurred at MCSP:
plaintiff raises retaliation claims based on various
incidents that occurred from 2017 to 2019 in the visiting
room, as well as actions taken in related administrative
appeals, and subsequent disciplinary proceedings. Plaintiff
also raises various claims concerning his wife, including a
claim that prison staff placed her too close to the fan,
despite knowing her medical conditions.
plaintiff claims his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights
were violated by the falsifying of documents by defendants
Link and Radus on April 14, 15, 2018, and May 5, 2018,
related to the calculation of plaintiff's minimum
eligibility release date and the earning and loss of time
credits. (ECF No. 1 at 19.)
plaintiff alleges that every weekend since May 2018, he has
been exposed to an excessive level of radiation in violation
of the Eighth Amendment. (ECF No. 1 at 20.) Because his wife
visits every weekend, plaintiff is compelled to undergo a
full body x-ray of radiation without a “protective
gonal shield.” (Id.)
is advised that he may not pursue unrelated claims in one
lawsuit. Plaintiff may join multiple claims if they are all
against a single defendant. Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a). If plaintiff
has more than one claim based upon separate transactions or
occurrences, the claims must be set forth in separate
paragraphs. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). Unrelated claims against
different defendants must be pursued in multiple lawsuits.
The controlling principle appears in Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a):
‘A party asserting a claim . . . may join,  as
independent or as alternate claims, as many claims . . . as
the party has against an opposing party.' Thus multiple
claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against
Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B
against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different
defendants belong in different suits, not only to prevent the
sort of morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit
produce[s], but also to ensure that prisoners pay the
required filing fees-for the Prison Litigation Reform Act
limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any
prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g).
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007);
see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2) (joinder of
defendants not permitted unless both commonality and same
transaction requirements are satisfied).
it appears that plaintiff may be able to state a cognizable
First Amendment claim based on the alleged retaliation by
defendant Link,  but plaintiff may only pursue such claims
based on incidents involving the same defendant in one case.
Other retaliation claims must be filed in a separate action.
In addition, the remainder of plaintiff's allegations are
unrelated and must be pursued in separate lawsuits. In
addition, as to the third cause of action, it is unclear to
what machine plaintiff is referring. However, if plaintiff is
referring to the magnetometer that is used for security
screenings every day at the airport and courthouses, as well
as state prisons, it is unlikely plaintiff can state a
cognizable federal civil rights claim as to such
In any event, such claim is wholly unrelated to
plaintiff's retaliation claim and must also be pursued in
a separate lawsuit.
plaintiff's complaint is dismissed, and plaintiff is
granted leave to file an amended complaint raising only
Potential Governing Standards
order to assist plaintiff in amending the complaint, he is
advised of the ...