United States District Court, E.D. California
AND RECOMMENDATIONS, RECOMMENDING THAT THIS ACTION PROCEED ON
PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANT PALMER FOR VIOLATION
OF PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE EXERCISE OF
RELIGION AND FOR VIOLATION OF THE RELIGIOUS LAND USE AND
INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS ACT OF 2000, AND THAT ALL OTHER
CLAIMS BE DISMISSED OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN TWENTY-ONE
(21) DAYS ORDER DIRECTING CLERK TO ASSIGN DISTRICT
Casey Guillen, III (“Plaintiff”), is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se with this civil rights
action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendant
removed this case to this Court on July 10, 2019. (ECF No.
Court screened Plaintiff's complaint on October 22, 2019,
and gave Plaintiff options as to how to move forward. (ECF
No. 5). On October 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed his response to
the Court's screening order. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff
stated that he “does not want to file an amended
complaint but chooses to stand on this complaint, in which
case the Court will issue findings and recommendations to a
district judge consistent with [the screening] order.”
(Id. at 1).
the Court issues these findings and recommendations to a
district judge consistent with the screening order.
reasons described below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has
stated cognizable claims against Defendant Palmer for
violation of Plaintiff's First Amendment right to free
exercise of religion and for violation of the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000. The Court
finds that Plaintiff fails to state any other claims.
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. §
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)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Id.
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The mere
possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this
plausibility standard. Id. at 679. 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). Additionally, a plaintiff's legal
conclusions are not accepted as true. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678.
of pro se plaintiffs “must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010) (holding that pro se complaints
should continue to be liberally construed after
SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
complaint alleges that a number of religious items were
confiscated without justification.
ordered a number of spiritual Native American/Indigenous
items, which arrived on approximately February 14, 2018.
Plaintiff later received a “Notification of Disapproval
mail/Package/Publications, ” dated February 27, 2018,
from Defendant Operations Captain M. Palmer. The form lists
the spiritual Native American/Indigenous items that are
unlawfully restricted by Defendant Palmer.
also alleges that Defendant Palmer had Plaintiff's
package for more than thirty days without notifying the State
Religious Review Committee, which violates California Code of
Regulation Title 15, section 3213(e).
Palmer used the Religious Personal Property Matrix
(“RPPM”), which is very strict and used for the
general inmates that use religious or non-religious items.
that practice the Native American or Indigenous Religion
and/or way of life and participate in the Red Tail Hawk
Spiritual Circle are allowed different religious items from
those that do not.
has asked for a penological reason why each item was not
allowed. For example, Plaintiff does not understand why Bee
Wax was confiscated. He questions whether it can be used as a
weapon. Bee Wax is placed on thread for Native Bead work, so