United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER: 1) GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS [ECF NO. 2] AND 2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILING
TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(E)(2) AND
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(B)
LARRY ALAN BURNS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Donald Korrie Knight, while incarcerated at Richard J.
Donovan Correctional Facility (“RJD”) in San
Diego, California, filed this civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See Compl., ECF No. 1.)
Knight seeks hold several unidentified RJD correctional
officials liable for damages based on a delayed release date.
(Id. at 3.)
did not prepay the civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a), but has instead filed a Motion to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a) (ECF No. 2).
parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a
district court of the United States, except an application
for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of
$400. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). The
action may proceed despite a plaintiff's failure to
prepay the entire fee only if he is granted leave to proceed
IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Andrews v.
Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1051 (9th Cir. 2007). However,
prisoners who are granted leave to proceed IFP remain
obligated to pay the entire fee in “increments”
or “installments, ” Bruce v. Samuels, __
U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 627, 629 (2016); Williams v.
Paramo, 775 F.3d 1182, 1185 (9th Cir. 2015), and
regardless of whether their action is ultimately dismissed.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) & (2);
Taylor v. Delatoore, 281 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir.
1915(a)(2) also requires prisoners seeking leave to proceed
IFP to submit a “certified copy of the trust fund
account statement (or institutional equivalent) for ... the
6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the
complaint.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2); Andrews v.
King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1119 (9th Cir. 2005). From the
certified trust account statement, the Court assesses an
initial payment of 20% of (a) the average monthly deposits in
the account for the past six months, or (b) the average
monthly balance in the account for the past six months,
whichever is greater, unless the prisoner has no assets.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1); 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(4). The institution having custody of the prisoner
then collects subsequent payments, assessed at 20% of the
preceding month's income, in any month in which his
account exceeds $10, and forwards those payments to the Court
until the entire filing fee is paid. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(2); Bruce, 136 S.Ct. at 629.
support of his IFP Motion, Knight has submitted a copy of his
CDCR Inmate Statement Report as well as a Prison Certificate
completed by a trust account official at RJD (ECF No. 3).
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2); S.D. Cal. CivLR
3.2; Andrews, 398 F.3d at 1119. These documents show
that while he carried an average monthly balance of $8.40, he
had no deposits to his trust account for the 6-months
preceding the filing of this action, and an available balance
of zero at the time of filing. (See ECF No. 3 at 1,
the Court GRANTS Knight's Motion to
Proceed IFP (ECF No. 2), declines to exact any initial filing
fee because his prison certificates indicate he may have
“no means to pay it, ” Bruce, 136 S.Ct.
at 629, and directs the Secretary of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”), or his designee, to instead collect the
entire $350 balance of the filing fees required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914 and forward them to the Clerk of the Court
pursuant to the installment payment provisions set forth in
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)
Standard of Review
Knight is a prisoner and is proceeding IFP, his Complaint
requires a pre-Answer screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(b). Under these statutes, the
Court must sua sponte dismiss a prisoner's IFP complaint,
or any portion of it, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim, or seeks damages from defendants who are
immune. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27
(9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004
(9th Cir. 2010) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)).
“The purpose of [screening] is ‘to ensure that
the targets of frivolous or malicious suits need not bear the
expense of responding.'” Nordstrom v.
Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 920 n.1 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d
680, 681 (7th Cir. 2012)).
standard for determining whether a plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as the Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) standard for failure to state a
claim.” Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112
(9th Cir. 2012); see also Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680
F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (noting that screening
pursuant to § 1915A “incorporates the familiar
standard applied in the context of failure to state a claim
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)”). Rule
12(b)(6) requires a complaint to “contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted); Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at 1121.
offers only vague and conclusory allegations in his
Complaint. For example, he claims that on June 5, 2019, he
was informed that “three warrants/detainers” had
been lodged against him in Los Angeles County, and at that
time his “release date was July 1, 2019.” (Compl.
at 3.) On June 30, 2019, however, he “received a
disciplinary report division ‘F' (low division) for
disobeying a direct order, ” and his release date was
“moved” to July 31, 2019, as a
result. (Id.) Knight claims this denied
him “access to the courts by some persons acting in
concert to term[i]nate the detainers, ” and that
“all defendants male and female, ” are
“sued in their individual ...