United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a former pretrial detainee and current state prisoner,
proceeds pro se with a civil rights complaint filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter was accordingly
referred to the undersigned by Local Rule 302(c)(17).
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
has filed several requests for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis that include declarations that make the showing
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). ECF Nos. 5, 9, 11, 13,
15, 17. The motions to proceed in forma pauperis will
therefore be granted.
is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
this order, Plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial
filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct
the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing
fee from Plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the
Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, Plaintiff will be obligated
for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to Plaintiff's prison trust
account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate
agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
Plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
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
“frivolous, malicious, or 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.” Id. § 1915A(b).
“is [legally] frivolous where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984).
“[A] judge may dismiss . . . claims which are
‘based on indisputably meritless legal theories' or
whose ‘factual contentions are clearly
baseless.'” Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d
639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989) (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S.
at 327), superseded by statute on other grounds as stated
in Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).
The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim,
however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual
basis. Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227-28 (citations
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). “Failure to state a claim under § 1915A
incorporates the familiar standard applied in the context of
failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6).” Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680
F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To
survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint
must contain more than “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action”; it must contain factual
allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citations omitted). “‘[T]he pleading
must contain something more . . . than . . . a statement of
facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally
cognizable right of action.'” Id.
(alteration in original) (quoting 5 Charles Alan Wright &
Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure
§ 1216 (3d ed. 2004)).
complaint must 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) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). In reviewing a complaint
under this standard, the court must accept as true the
allegations of the complaint in question, Hosp. Bldg. Co.
v. Trs. of the Rex Hosp., 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976)
(citation omitted), as well as construe the pleading in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff and resolve all doubts
in the plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen,
395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969) (citations omitted).
Facts of the Complaint
complaint alleges that defendants Honea and Ahern violated
plaintiff's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights in
relation to a pre-incarceration strip search. ECF No. 1 at 1,
3, 11-12. Plaintiff, formerly a pretrial detainee at the
Butte County Jail, contends that the squat-and-cough
procedure constitutes “unconstitutional body cavity
searches.” Id. at 3, 12. Specifically, a
female correctional officer forced plaintiff to perform the
squat and cough procedure four times. Id. at 12. The
procedure and its repetition allegedly caused plaintiff both
physical and emotional stress because of her “medical
incontinence issue, ” pain in her right knee, and
“past sexual abuse in [her] life AND documented sexual
abuse by various male ‘law-enforcement'
officers.” Id. Further, the complaint alleges
that the officer was later overheard telling a male officer
that “I don't trust [plaintiff]. She was
seeks compensatory and punitive damages of an unspecified
amount, and injunctive relief to stop the body cavity
searches. Id. at 3.
Failure to State a Claim
Failure to Link Claims ...