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Turner v. Brown

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 26, 2019

ANTHONY R. TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., et al., Defendants.

         OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN FOURTEEN DAYS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, RECOMMENDING THAT THIS CASE BE DISMISSED, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR PLAINTIFF’S FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE COURT’S SCREENING ORDER AND VIOLATION OF RULES 18(a) AND 20 OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE (ECF No. 29.)

          GARY S. AUSTIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         Anthony Turner (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on October 12, 2018, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. (ECF No. 1.) On November 13, 2018, Plaintiff’s case was transferred to this court. (ECF No. 7.)

         On August 16, 2019, the court screened the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and dismissed it for violation of Rules 18(a) and 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. (ECF No. 29.) Plaintiff was granted thirty days in which to file a First Amended Complaint not exceeding 25 pages, curing the deficiencies identified by the court. (Id.)

         On September 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint, which is now before the court for screening. (ECF No. 32.) 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         II. 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 upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “Notwithstanding 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).

         A complaint is required to 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)). While a plaintiff’s allegations are taken as true, 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). To state a viable claim, Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.

         III. PLAINTIFF’S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, California. The events at issue in the First Amended Complaint allegedly occurred at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) in Delano, California, when Plaintiff was incarcerated there in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Plaintiff names as defendants Gavin Newsom (Governor), Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (former Governor), Kathleen Allison (CDCR Director), C. Pfeiffer (Warden, KVSP), Captain J. Hansak, Scott Kernan (Undersecretary Director), Captain D. Stebbins, M. McMurtry (Guard), A. Geary (Counselor CCI), Sergeant Escutia, R. Sherill (Counselor CCII), R. Romero (Guard), L. Bradford (Guard), M. Bedolla (Guard), R. Magana (Guard), Dr. C. Relevante, Dr. W. Ulit, Lieutenant W. Hammer, Lieutenant C. Waddle, Sergeant S. Lone, Sergeant H. Arreola, J. Johnson (Guard), J. Leora (Guard), Captain Escivedo, E. Celedon (Guard), and Does #1-7 (collectively, “Defendants”).

         Similar to Plaintiff’s original Complaint, the First Amended Complaint is difficult to decipher, generally alleges that prison guards conspired to retaliate against him by staging and planning assaults on Plaintiff by other inmates, and alleges numerous other claims such as false imprisonment, adverse transfer, confiscation of personal property, conspiracy, failure to protect, failure to intervene, racial discrimination, falsification of Rules Violation Reports, illegal use of gang informants to carry out assaults, due process violations (familial rights), failure to hire and train employees, inadequate medical care, excessive force, and RICO violations.

         Also similar to the original Complaint, Plaintiff alleges claims against Defendants as a whole or groups of Defendants. Plaintiff was advised in the court’s prior screening order that to state a claim he must allege facts showing how each individual defendant personally acted against him causing violations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff has not done so. Plaintiff again refers to “Defendants” or groups of defendants, such as “named supervisory officials;” “individual named employee defendants;” “each named defendant officials and subordinate employees;” “defendants named #A-Y;” “each named defendant herein from July 19, 2018;” and “the Defendants named as C/O J. Leora, C/O J. Johnson, C/O Sandoval, C/O M. Bedolla, [and] Sgt. Escutia.” (First ACP, ECF No. 32 at 3 ¶IA; 4 ¶IA, 8 ¶1, 8 ¶4, 9 ¶7, 22 ¶ 21.) Plaintiff may not attribute liability to a group of defendants but must “set forth specific facts as to each individual defendant’s” deprivation of his rights. Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988); see also Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Plaintiff has not complied with the court’s order directing him to allege facts as to each individual defendant. Plaintiff’s allegations in the First Amended Complaint against multiple defendants do not ...


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