United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This
proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
December 9, 2019, plaintiff filed a first amended complaint
(“FAC”). ECF No. 17. For the reasons stated
below, the FAC will not be served and plaintiff will be given
a second and final opportunity to amend.
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. §
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). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The
critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however
inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis.
See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir.
1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if
it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of
facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle
him to relief. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467
U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); Palmer v. Roosevelt Lake Log
Owners Ass'n, 651 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1981).
In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must
accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question,
Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trustees, 425 U.S. 738,
740 (1976), construe the pleading in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the
plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395
U.S. 411, 421 (1969).
1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder
v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a
source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method
for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).
state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda
Cty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
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 to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. Facial
plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a
defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations
are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.
Section 1983, a plaintiff bringing an individual capacity
claim must demonstrate that each defendant personally
participated in the deprivation of his rights. See Jones
v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). There
must be an actual connection or link between the actions of
the defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been
suffered by plaintiff. See Ortez v. Washington County,
State of Oregon, 88 F.3d 804, 809 (9th Cir. 1996);
see also Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th
officials may not be held liable for the actions of their
subordinates under a theory of respondeat superior.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 (stating vicarious liability
is inapplicable in Section 1983 suits). Since a government
official cannot be held liable under a theory of vicarious
liability in Section 1983 actions, plaintiff must plead
sufficient facts showing that the official has violated the
Constitution through his own individual actions by linking
each named defendant with some affirmative act or omission
that demonstrates a violation of plaintiff's federal
rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676.
PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
FAC names as defendants the “Secretary of the
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, et al., ”
former CSP-Solano Warden Eric Arnold, John Does 1 and 2, and
Drs. N. Largoza and M. Lotersztain. See ECF No. 17
at 1-3. The claims arise from a vehicle accident that
occurred in June 2016 as plaintiff was being ...