United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SERVE COMPLAINT (DOC. 18)
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS ACTION WITH PREJUDICE
K. OBERTO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
David Michael Reinhardt, an inmate proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, alleges that California
judges and justices are engaged in a conspiracy to deny his
constitutional rights by repeatedly denying his state habeas
petitions. (Doc. 27 at 11.) In its first screening order, the
Court was unable to discern whether Plaintiff intended to
file a section 1983 action or a federal habeas
petition. (Doc. 14). Thus, the Court provided
Plaintiff with the pleading requirements for both types of
actions and granted him leave to amend. (Id.)
Plaintiff chose to file an amended complaint under section
1983. (See Doc. 17.) In its second screening order,
the Court found that Plaintiff's first amended complaint
violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. (Doc. 26.) The
Court again provided Plaintiff with the pleading
requirements, as well as the legal standards for several
causes of action, and granted him leave to amend.
these opportunities, Plaintiff's second amended complaint
fails to state a cognizable claim and is frivolous.
Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff is unable to cure
the deficiencies in his pleading, see Akhtar v.
Mesa, 698 F.3d 1202, 1212-13 (9th Cir. 2012), and
recommends that this action be DISMISSED
on July 11, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting that
the United States Marshal serve his initial complaint. (Doc.
18.) This motion was premature, and since the Court
recommends dismissal of this action, the Court
DENIES the motion, (Doc. 18).
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (identical dismissal
grounds for plaintiffs proceeding in forma
pauperis). The Court should dismiss a complaint if it
lacks a cognizable legal theory or fails to allege sufficient
facts to support a cognizable legal theory. See
Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696,
699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil
actions, with limited exceptions.” Swierkiewicz v.
Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 513 (2002). A complaint must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.
R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2). “Such a statement must simply
give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512 (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted).
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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Factual
allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are
not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
Court construes pleadings of pro se prisoners
liberally and affords them the benefit of any doubt.
Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010)
(citation omitted). However, “the liberal pleading
standard … applies only to a plaintiff's factual
allegations, ” not his legal theories. Neitze v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). Furthermore,
“a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint
may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not
initially pled, ” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union
Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted), and 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). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully” is not sufficient to state a
cognizable claim, and “facts that are merely consistent
with a defendant's liability” fall short.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks and
1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of
constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting
under color of state law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must show a
causal connection or link between the actions of the
defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered
by the plaintiff. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362,
373-75 (1976). The Ninth Circuit has held that “[a]
person ‘subjects' another to the deprivation of a
constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if
he does an affirmative act, participates in another's
affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is
legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which
complaint is made.” Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d
740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978) (citation omitted).