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Davis v. Hanford Police Department

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 2, 2020

CHARLES LAKE DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
HANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

         ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO: (1) FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; OR (2) NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE WISHES TO STAND ON HIS COMPLAINT, SUBJECT TO FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DISTRICT JUDGE CONSISTENT WITH THIS ORDER (ECF NO. 1) THIRTY DAY DEADLINE

         Plaintiff, Charles Lake Davis, is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on September 3, 2019 (ECF No. 1). The Complaint is before the Court for screening. For the reasons described below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a cognizable claim against Defendants.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), in any case in which a plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must conduct a review of the complaint to determine whether it “state[s] a claim on which relief may be granted, ” is “frivolous or malicious, ” or “seek[s] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, it must be dismissed. Id. An action is frivolous if it is “of little weight or importance: having no basis in law or fact” and malicious if it was filed with the “intention or desire to harm another.” Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2005). Leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment. Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).

         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)(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 that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 678.

         In determining whether a complaint states an actionable claim, the Court must accept the allegations in the complaint as true, Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trs. of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). Pleadings 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 Iqbal).

         II. SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff brings claims against the Hanford Police Department (“Hanford PD”) and the Department of Adult Parole Operations, Hanford, CA (“DAPO”). Plaintiff also brought a prior civil action, filed on August 21, 2019 (the “prior civil action”) against Defendant DAPO and two other individuals. See Davis v. Mendoza, Case No. 1:19-cv-01142 (E.D. Cal. 2019). At the time Plaintiff filed the prior civil action, he was incarcerated in the Kings County Jail.

         Plaintiff alleges that after he filed the prior civil action, he was released from custody, and that five days after being released, Defendants (DAPO and the Hanford PD) retaliated against him by falsely arresting him for trespass and resisting arrest. Plaintiff appears to allege that the property on which he is charged with trespassing is the property that bears his address of record and that he thus could not have been trespassing on the property; and that the officer who arrested Plaintiff was behind him, and because Plaintiff cannot hear and can only lip read, he could not have heard or understood the officer's commands or read the officer's lips and thus could not have been resisting arrest. Plaintiff alleges that he suffered abrasions and bruises during the incident, that he is very afraid, that he suffers from disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and is under chronic care, and that he is a mental health patient who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). Plaintiff also alleges that he has initiated an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

         III.SECTION 1983

         The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress....

42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         “[Section] 1983 ‘is not itself a source of substantive rights,' but merely provides ‘a method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.'” Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989) (quoting Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)); see also Chapman v. Houston Welfare Rights Org., 441 U.S. 600, 618 (1979); Hall v. City of Los Angeles, 697 F.3d 1059, 1068 (9th Cir. ...


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