Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Leal v. Vang

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 13, 2019

JOSE REYMUNDO LEAL, Plaintiff,
v.
MALIA VANG, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 1)

         Jose Reymundo Leal (“Plaintiff”), a pretrial detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, filed September 11, 2019.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The 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 on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek[] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         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). 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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff brings this action seeking damages for his girlfriends emotional distress and injunctive relief to gain custody of her child. For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff has failed to state a cognizable claim. The Court shall provide Plaintiff with the opportunity to file an amended complaint and provides that legal standards that appear to apply to his claims.

         A. Section 1983

          Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of a plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead, 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). To state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff is required to show that (1) each defendant acted under color of state law and (2) each defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal law. Long, 442 F.3d at 1185. There is no respondeat superior liability under section 1983, and therefore, each defendant is only liable for his or her own misconduct. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677. Therefore, to state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones, 297 F.3d at 934.

         Here, Plaintiff brings his claims against an unidentified supervisory Child Protective Services Officer. “Under Section 1983, supervisory officials are not liable for actions of subordinates on any theory of vicarious liability.” Crowley v. Bannister, 734 F.3d 967, 977 (9th Cir. 2013) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676. “A supervisor may be liable only if (1) he or she is personally involved in the constitutional deprivation, or (2) there is ‘a sufficient causal connection between the supervisor's wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation.'” Crowley, 734 F.3d at 977 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). “Under the latter theory, supervisory liability exists even without overt personal participation in the offensive act if supervisory officials implement a policy so deficient that the policy itself is a repudiation of constitutional rights and is the moving force of a constitutional violation.” Id.

         Plaintiff's complaint does not contain any factual allegations that the supervisory Child Protective Services worker personally participated in removing the child or that the child was removed due to a policy that violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against the unidentified supervisory employee.

         Similarly, Plaintiff brings this action against Malia Vang, a social worker. However, the complaint is devoid of allegations as to Ms. Vang. To state a claim, Plaintiff must link each named to defendant to some act or failure to act that violated his federal rights. Plaintiff has failed to state a cognizable claim in this action.

         Plaintiff brings his claims alleging violation of the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiff states that he is seeking to get his child back. “A parent's desire for and right to ‘the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children' is an important interest that ‘undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection. ” Lassiter v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of Durham Cty., N. C., 452 U.S. 18, 27 (1981) (quoting Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651 (1972)); accord Kelson v. City of Springfield, 767 F.2d 651, 655 (9th Cir. 1985). “[F]reedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753 (1982). The Supreme Court held long ago that an unwed father's interest in having custody of his children is cognizable and substantial. Stanley, 405 U.S. at 652. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees ...


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.