Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gradford v. Guiltron

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 30, 2019



          Gary S. Austin, United States Magistrate Judge


         I. BACKGROUND

         William J. Gradford (“Plaintiff”) is a former prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On October 1, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division. (ECF No. 1.) On October 4, 2018, the case was transferred to this court. (ECF No. 5.)

         On October 9, 2018, the court related this case to Plaintiff's other pending cases under Local Rule 123 and reassigned the case to the dockets of District Judge Dale A. Drozd and Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin. (ECF No. 8.)

         Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the court for screening. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.


         The in forma pauperis statute provides that “[n]otwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the action or appeal fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         “Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions, ” none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences, ” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations.” Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). “[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

         Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002) (emphasis added). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.


         The events at issue in the Complaint allegedly occurred at the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center in Modesto, California, when Plaintiff was detained there as a pretrial detainee in the custody of the Stanislaus County Sheriff. Plaintiff names Deputy Guiltron as the sole defendant (“Defendant”).

         Plaintiff's allegations follow:

         On March 2, 2017, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Plaintiff was awakened to an incoming legal mail letter being slid under his single-man cell door by defendant Deputy Guiltron, who had already opened Plaintiff's letter out of his presence and without his permission. Plaintiff immediately filed a grievance against Deputy Guiltron for this.

         This has been an ongoing problem with most of the past deputies assigned to Plaintiff's housing unit, purposely opening his incoming legal mail. Deputy Guiltron had been told not to do it by higher-ranking deputies. Deputy Guiltron later came to Plaintiff's cell and handed him the original green copy intending to cover up his actions, and purposely attempting to prevent Plaintiff from filing a grievance against him so it would not go on the official records. Deputy Guiltron was supposed to file the green copy on the official record at the jail.

         Deputy Guiltron had always given Plaintiff problems with Plaintiff's outgoing legal mail. Every time Deputy Guiltron would process Plaintiff's outgoing legal mail, Plaintiff would very respectfully, as always, ask him to sign the seal as required. He would always refuse and say he would sign them up front at mail drop-off, out of the unit and out of Plaintiff's presence. Plaintiff would never reply back because Deputy Guiltron was always angry and upset with Plaintiff, giving him intimidating responses with traces of violent behaviors because on December 5, 2016, Plaintiff reported two co-deputies, Tiexiera and McCarthy, for threatening Plaintiff's life, well-being, and safety.

         Plaintiff reported Tiexiera for throwing inmate Ibanez against the wall while Ibanez was on the floor having a seizure, unresponsive. Approximately 5 minutes later, Tiexiera moved Plaintiff to McCarthy's assigned position, the court's tunnel, because Plaintiff told him he was going to report him. That's when Deputy McCarthy told Plaintiff, “Gradford, if you know what's good for you, you would keep your mouth shut!” I will always fear being retaliated against by Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputies, third parties, others, and so forth, especially upon my release from prison. I now have to live in extreme fear for the rest of my life. Stanislaus County in-house Sheriff's Deputies have a very bad reputation of violence towards and upon inmates, mostly for unjust and unwarranted reasons (e.g., down inmate Ibanez).

         Plaintiff requests a declaratory judgment, monetary damages, costs of suit, and reasonable attorney's fees.

         IV. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.