United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner currently incarcerated at California
State Prison Solano (CSP-SOL), under the authority of the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(CDCR). Plaintiff proceeds with a civil rights complaint
filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a request for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915. For the reasons that follow, the court
grants plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis
and gives plaintiff the opportunity to file a First Amended
In Forma Pauperis Application
has submitted an affidavit and prison trust account statement
that make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
See ECF No. 8. Accordingly, plaintiff's request
to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
must still 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
to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's 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).
Screening of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint
Legal Standards for Screening Prisoner Civil Rights
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. §
1915A(b)(1), (2). A claim is legally frivolous when 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).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “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
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
“[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly at 555). To survive dismissal for failure to
state a claim, “a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal at 678 (quoting Twombly 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. The plausibility standard is not akin to
a ‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Id. (citing Twombly at
556). “Where a complaint pleads facts that are
‘merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability, it ‘stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of “entitlement to
relief.”'” Id. (quoting
Twombly at 557).
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). See also Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(e) (“Pleadings shall be so construed as to do
justice.”). Additionally, a pro se litigant is entitled
to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an
opportunity to amend, unless the complaint's deficiencies
cannot be cured by amendment. See Noll v. Carlson,
809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).
previously incarcerated at the California Medical Facility
(CMF), plaintiff submitted a letter to this court requesting
that he be transferred to a General Population Level 3 yard
“before me or other inmates get hurt.”
See ECF No. 1 at 1. Plaintiff stated that he
qualifies for accommodations under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) because he has 4 screws in his back.
He explained that he was an “Active Southern” and
“a G.P. inmate, ” not a “program inmate,
” and disagreed with the July 17, 2018 decision of CMF
Correctional Counselor II (CC II) Davis to transfer plaintiff
to a special needs program yard. Id. He complained
that he had been placed in CMF's administrative
segregation unit (Ad Seg) “for not wanting to be a
program inmate.” Id.
court informed plaintiff that, to proceed with this action,
he must file a complaint and an application to proceed in
forma pauperis. ECF No. 7. Plaintiff filed both documents.
plaintiff filed his complaint on December 26, 2018, he had
been transferred to, and housed at, CSP-SOL for more than
four months. The complaint recounts plaintiff's
difficulties while housed at the Correctional Health Care
Facility (CHCF) in Stockton, apparently before he was
incarcerated at CMF or between his incarcerations at CMF and
CSP-SOL. Plaintiff states he was then post-surgical, in a
wheelchair, and that his placement in a special needs yard
placed him in danger because he had “to defend”
himself between the “two status inmates, ”
including in a fight January 2018 and a riot February 2018.
ECF No. 12 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that the situation
“forced [him in] to a very complicated strategic
decision of no real choices.” Id. at 4. He
alleges that his wheelchair was damaged, requiring him to
forfeit $350.00. Id. Plaintiff also alleges that
“[t]he prison unit for my housing unit wasn't up to
standards to accommodations . . . [causing plaintiff]
discomfort, pain after surgery, then reinjuring back, hip.
That my use of wheel chair was lengthened and make use of
walker after chair which wouldn't had been needed or
another forecoming surgery of lower back and correction of 3
[illegible] fusen screws, which allows my ableness to walk
and function as one human [with] no assistance of nurse or
complaint seeks the following relief: “To be reviewed
and true assessment of placement without any dangerment, harm
for me as Active General Population Inmate;” “to
have ALL medical needs and attentions needs forthcoming
completed;” and $100, 000 in damages “for the
wrong of CDCR, stress, depression, hardship.” ECF No.
12 at 6.
complaint identifies the following defendants: CHCF Warden
Martel, CHCF CC II (Correctional Counselor II) Frazier and
“other state employees of [CHCF], ” including
“4 Janes Does” and “4 John Does.”
Id. at 2.
The Complaint's Defects
Constitutional Claims for Injunctive Relief are Moot
the possible statutory exceptions noted below (concerning the
Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act),
plaintiff's institutional transfers prior to filing his
complaint renders moot any constitutional claim for
injunctive relief at CMF and CHCF. Plaintiff has no standing
to seek injunctive relief regarding practices at a facility
in which he is no longer held. “When an inmate
challenges prison conditions at a particular correctional
facility, but has been transferred from the facility and has
no reasonable expectation of returning, his claim is
moot.” Pride v. Correa, 719 F.3d 1130, 1138
(9th Cir. 2013) (citing Johnson v. Moore, 948 F.2d
517, 519 (9th Cir. 1991)). An inmate's claims for
prospective injunctive and declaratory relief are moot when
he “no longer is subjected to [the allegedly