United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF
ACTION, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM FOR
RELIEF (ECF NO. 48)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
James Trotter is a state prisoner currently proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
before the Court for screening is Plaintiff's second
amended complaint, filed on November 18, 2019. (ECF No. 48.)
initiated this action by filing his original complaint on
January 22, 2018. (ECF No. 1.) On March 22, 2019, the Court
screened Plaintiff's complaint and granted Plaintiff
leave to file a first amended complaint. (ECF No. 24.) On
April 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint.
(ECF No. 27.) On July 3, 2019, the Court issued a screening
order finding that Plaintiff's first amended complaint
failed to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and
failed to state any cognizable claim for relief. (ECF No.
37.) The Court granted Plaintiff thirty days to either file a
second amended complaint or a notice of voluntary dismissal.
(Id. at 15-16.) On August 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
motion for an extension of time to file a second amended
complaint. (ECF No. 44.) On August 13, 2019, the Court
granted Plaintiff an additional thirty days to file a second
amended complaint. (ECF No. 46.)
September 9, 2019, the Court's August 13, 2019 order was
returned as “Undeliverable, Unable to Forward.”
On October 31, 2019, after Plaintiff failed to file a notice
of change of address, file a second amended complaint, or
otherwise communicate with the Court for more than
sixty-three days, the undersigned issued findings and
recommendations recommending that this action be dismissed
based on Plaintiff's failure to prosecute this action.
(ECF No. 47.) The findings and recommendations were served on
Plaintiff and contained notice that any objections thereto
were to be filed within fourteen (14) days after service.
(Id. at 3.)
as noted above, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint on
November 18, 2019. (ECF No. 48.) Therefore, on November 21,
2019, the Court vacated the October 31, 2019 findings and
recommendations recommending dismissal of this action due to
Plaintiff's failure to prosecute. (ECF No. 49.) The Court
now screens the second amended complaint.
Screening Requirement and Standard
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 on
which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
complaint must 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)).
Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's
rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are
entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to
have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v.
Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations
omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must
be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual
detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The
“sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that
are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility
standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572
F.3d at 969.
Summary of Plaintiff's Second Amended
is currently housed at Folsom State Prison. Plaintiff alleges
that the events at issue in his second amended complaint took
place at Kern Valley State Prison (“KVSP”).
Plaintiff names the following Defendants: (1) KVSP Warden
Pfeiffer; (2) Correctional Officer Garcia; and (3)
Correctional Officer Barcia Reign.
alleges as follows: On April 22, 2017, Plaintiff was assigned
as a Dining Vocational Trade Worker, section location 004-A
7/8 Dining 2/w, with Position #DRW.004.004.
correction officer Garcia briefing had been given by
administration staff Facility ‘C' and ordering him
to comply he personally refused denoucing (sic) all
good changes, again strongly refusing to hirer (sic)
anybody, not only White inmates, no Black inmates, and no
Asian inmates.” (ECF No. 48, at 5.) The Facility C
Staff Sergeant requested a list of inmates who qualified for
medium custody status to work in the culinary trade.
Plaintiff submitted 15 names on a list and another list was
submitted, consisting of 10 names of inmates who previously
worked for Defendant Garcia and who said that they knew how
to work around Defendant Garcia.
Defendant Garcia totally ignored “instruction, the list
and completely refused hirering (sic) inmates who
passed all the cook tests White inmates, Black inmates, and
Asian inmates, and [Defendant Garcia] again said … [he
was] only for my people Mexican inmates this is our
Land.” (Id.) From June 1, 2017 and on,
Defendant Garcia continued opposing all direct orders from
administrative staff members to hire inmates of all races in
order to balance the ethnic makeup of the kitchen workers.
asserts that “the direct job assignment is headed by
designated assignment Lt. (only)[.]” (Id. at
6.) On December 8, 2017, Plaintiff was issued an Inmate
Assignment Card for Location YDW.003.005-A Upper Yard 2/w
position YDW.003.005. Plaintiff alleges that
“Correction Officer Garcia and Facility Lt. who created
actual crime both together illegally changing job assignment
with no authority.” (Id.)
night of December 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed a 602 appeal form.
Almost immediately after that, Plaintiff was sent another
Inmate Assignment Card that reassigned him back to his former
Dining Worker position, with an effective date of December
12, 2017. After alerting Management Cook II, Facility
Sergeant, and all correctional officers working in the
kitchen that he was reassigned to his former Dining Worker
position, Plaintiff reported each day to his job assignment,
but each time he “was illegally denied and turned away
for no reason.” (Id.)
subsequently filed a 602 appeal, explaining the situation
involving Correctional Officer Garcia. Plaintiff was
eventually interviewed by the Facility lieutenant, “who
said he already knows and I agreed saying the only computer
that change a inmate assignment is Lt., which I said you
broke into Lt. assignment office illegally P.C. §
later ‘punishment' correction officers came to
living quarters stating Lt. Facility A want to see me again,
I said let's go ready, willing and able, and Correction
officer's (sic) said turn around and cuff up and
I was placed in administrative segregation with no pending
rules violation report, no contact with the outside work of
any kind substantive right's (sic)
constitutional violation's (sic). Punishment no
rights, Punishment no liberty, and miscarriage of
justice.” Id. Further, Plaintiff alleges that
he was “adverse punishment by confinement in a prison
cell beyond ten days maximum time period with the right to
exercise, as administrative punishment, without his due
process right to notice of the cause for confinement.”
(Id. at 3.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that
Plaintiff alleges his First and Fourteenth Amendments were
violated when he was denied access to the court, legal
library, legal books, and paper when he was confined to
seeks declaratory relief and compensatory and punitive
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8
to Rule 8, a complaint must contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Plaintiff must set forth
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations