United States District Court, E.D. California
GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS TO AMEND; AND SCREENING
ORDER ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO: (1) FILE A THIRD AMENDED
COMPLAINT; OR (2) NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE WISHES TO STAND ON
HIS SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT, SUBJECT TO THIS COURT ISSUING
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO A DISTRICT JUDGE CONSISTENT
WITH THIS ORDER (ECF NOS. 7, 8, 11, 12)
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis and seeking relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. This proceeding was referred to this Court
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 302.
Plaintiff originally filed this suit on April 22, 2019. (ECF
No. 1.) Plaintiff then filed a motion to amend his complaint,
along with a first amended complaint on May 17, 2019. (ECF
Nos. 7 & 8.) Plaintiff then filed another motion to
amend, as well as a second amended complaint, on May 31,
2019. (ECF Nos. 11 & 12.)
November 22, 2019, this case was transferred from the
Sacramento Division of the Eastern District of California to
the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California.
(ECF No. 24.)
reasons discussed herein, the court will grant
Plaintiff's motions for leave to amend (ECF Nos. 7 &
11.) and treats the second amended complaint as the operative
upon screening Plaintiff's second amended complaint, the
Court finds that it fails to state a claim against any of the
named Defendants. Plaintiff may file a third amended
complaint based on the legal standards in this order if he
believes that additional facts would state additional claims.
If Plaintiff files a third amended complaint, the court will
screen that complaint in due course. Alternatively, Plaintiff
may file a statement with the court that he wishes to stand
on the Second Amended Complaint, and have it reviewed by a
district judge, in which case the court will issue findings
and recommendations to a district judge consistent with this
MOTIONS TO AMEND (ECF Nos. 7 & 11)
the Court could screen Plaintiff's complaint filed on
April 22, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend along with
a first amended complaint. See (ECF Nos. 7 & 8.)
In the same month, Plaintiff filed another motion to amend
his complaint along with a second amended complaint. (ECF
Nos. 11 & 12.) Since the motions to amend were filed
close in time to one another and before service was ordered
or a responsive pleading was filed, the court will construe
Plaintiff's motions to amend as a single attempt to amend
his complaint. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1) (amending
as a matter of course). So construed, Plaintiff's motions
to amend will be granted and the court will deem the second
amended complaint filed on May 31, 2019, as the operative
pleading before the Court. See (ECF No. 12.)
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.
order to avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a
complaint must contain more than “naked assertions,
” “labels and conclusions” or “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555-557 (2007). In other words, “[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).
Furthermore, a claim upon which the court can grant relief
has facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 93-94 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT
second amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that while an
inmate at California State Prison-Corcoran he was denied
access to the law library and paging service every week
between October 3, 2018 and January 1, 2019. (ECF No. 12 at
5-11.) Access to the law library was necessary in order to
work on state habeas corpus petitions as well as various
state and federal civil actions. Id. Plaintiff
alleges that such denial of access violated his rights under
the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal
Constitution as well as various ...