United States District Court, E.D. California
WILLIAM J. GRADFORD, Plaintiff,
DEPUTY GUILTRON, Defendant.
S. Austin, United States Magistrate Judge
DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE
TO AMEND (ECF No. 1.) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE TO FILE FIRST
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.)
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.)
Complaint is now before the court for screening. 28 U.S.C.
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).
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)).
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.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
requests a declaratory judgment, monetary damages, costs of
suit, and reasonable attorney's fees.