United States District Court, E.D. California
GEORGE E. JACOBS, Plaintiff,
CDCR, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS
JENNIFER L. THURSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
E. Jacobs alleges that the defendants failed to provide
adequate medical care and subjected him to excessive force.
(Doc. 23). In two screening orders, the Court cautioned
Plaintiff that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 prohibits
him from bringing unrelated claims against unrelated parties
in a single action. (Doc. 14 at 4-5; Doc. 19 at 3, 5-6.) The
Court further warned Plaintiff that his first amended
complaint (FAC) was excessively long and violated Rule 8 and
instructed him to make his second amended complaint (SAC)
“as concise as possible.” (Doc. 19 at 4.) The
Court provided Plaintiff with the pleading requirements and
legal standards for his alleged claims and granted him leave
to amend. (Id.)
the Court's instructions and two opportunities to amend,
Plaintiff again violates Rules 8 and 20 in his SAC.
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.
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). 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
of Rule 8, at both ends of the spectrum, warrant dismissal. A
violation occurs when a pleading says too little, see
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, and when it says too much,
see Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys.,
Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir. 2011) (“we
have never held-and we know of no authority supporting the
proposition-that a pleading may be of unlimited length and
opacity”); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d
1172, 1177-80 (9th Cir. 1996) (affirming dismissal under Rule
8 for a complaint that was “argumentative, prolix,
replete with redundancy, and largely irrelevant”),
and Hatch v. Reliance Ins. Co., 758 F.2d 409, 415
(9th Cir. 1985) (affirming dismissal when complaints
“exceeded 70 pages in length, were confusing and
conclusory and not in compliance with Rule 8”).
Linkage and Causation
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).
Federal Rules of Civil ...