Patrick Williams v. Department of Corrections et al

Filing 24

ORDER DISMISSING 17 Second Amended Complaint for Failure to Comply with Court Order signed by District Judge Raner Collins on 02/02/2009. If Plaintiff fails to file a third amended complaint within 30 days, the Clerk ofCourt must, without further notice, enter a judgment of dismissal of this action with prejudice.( THIRD Amended Complaint due 3/9/2009) (Figueroa, O)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 JDDL-K JWB IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Patrick Williams, Plaintiff, vs. Department of Corrections, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV 1-06-1793-RCC ORDER I. Background Patrick Williams, who is confined in the Folsom State Prison in Represa, California, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 (Doc. # 1). Before the Court screened the Complaint, Plaintiff filed two amended complaints (Doc. ## 5, 8). United States Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Beck issued an Order (Doc. # 13) dismissing the Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) and for failure to state a claim and providing Plaintiff an opportunity to file a second amended complaint that cured the many deficiencies identified in the Order. Plaintiff did not file a second amended complaint within the requisite time period, and Magistrate Judge Beck issued a Findings and Recommendations (F&R) that recommended dismissing this action for failure to comply with a court order (Doc. # 14). Plaintiff did not file objections to the F&R, but lodged a Second Amended Complaint after the time for filing objections had expired. Magistrate Judge Beck 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 JDDL-K nonetheless vacated the F&R and ordered that the Second Amended Complaint be filed (Doc. ## 16-17). Over one year after the F&R had been vacated, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal as to that F&R to the Ninth Circuit, which remains pending (Doc. # 20).1 This case was reassigned to the undersigned judge on November 26, 2008 (Doc. # 19). The Court will dismiss the Second Amended Complaint and will provide Plaintiff with one final opportunity to amend. II. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff 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). If the Court determines that a pleading could be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). The Court should not, however, advise the litigant how to cure the defects. This type of advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); see also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13 (declining to decide whether the court was required to inform a litigant of deficiencies). Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend because it may possibly be saved by amendment. /// III. Second Amended Complaint 1 The fact that Plaintiff's appeal of the magistrate judge's F&R remains pending does not divest this Court of jurisdiction to proceed with the case because the appeal challenges an order that is neither final nor appealable. See Estate of Conners v. O'Connor, 6 F.3d 656, 658 (9th Cir. 1993). -2- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 JDDL-K Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a "short and plain statement of the claim." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Rule 8(d)(1) states that "[e]ach allegation must be simple, concise, and direct." A complaint having the factual elements of a cause of action scattered throughout the complaint and not organized into a "short and plain statement of the claim" may be dismissed for failure to satisfy Rule 8(a). See Sparling v. Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 640 (9th Cir. 1988); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 1996). Rule 10(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also requires a plaintiff to state claims in "numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances." Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b). Moreover, "[i]f doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence . . . must be stated in a separate count." Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b). It is not the responsibility of the Court to review a rambling narrative in an attempt to determine the number and nature of a plaintiff's claims. Despite the difficulties in deciphering Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, the Court has reviewed it. The Court concludes that the Second Amended Complaint fails to correct the deficiencies outlined in Magistrate Judge Beck's April 20 2007 Order and does not comply with Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is nothing more than a lengthy narrative. The Court cannot meaningfully evaluate the Second Amended Complaint, as required by 28 U.S.C. 1915A(a). Accordingly, the Court will dismiss the Second Amended Complaint with one final opportunity to amend. IV. Leave to Amend For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint will be dismissed for failure to comply with Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Within 30 days, Plaintiff may submit a third amended complaint on the form provided with this Order. If Plaintiff fails to use the form provided with this Order, the Court may strike the third amended complaint and dismiss this action without further notice to Plaintiff. Plaintiff must clearly designate on the face of the document that it is the "Third Amended Complaint." The third amended complaint must be retyped or rewritten in its -3- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 JDDL-K entirety on the form provided with this Order and may not incorporate any part of the original Complaint or Amended Complaint by reference. Plaintiff must comply with the instructions provided with the form. Plaintiff should pay close attention to the instructions provided with the form. If Plaintiff fails to comply with the instructions provided with the form, the Court may strike the third amended complaint and dismiss this action without further notice to Plaintiff. Among other requirements contained in the instructions, Plaintiff must provide information in a third amended complaint regarding the Court's jurisdiction and the defendants, and he must divide his lawsuit into separate counts. In each count, Plaintiff must identify the federal constitutional civil right allegedly violated, check the box for the issue most closely involved, state how each defendant participated in the alleged violation at issue, explain how Plaintiff was injured by the alleged violation, and mark whether Plaintiff exhausted any available administrative remedies. Plaintiff must repeat this process for each civil rights claim. Plaintiff may allege only one claim per count. A third amended complaint supersedes the original Complaint and Amended Complaints. Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992); Hal Roach Studios v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1990). After amendment, the Court will treat the original Complaint and Amended Complaints as nonexistent. Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1262. Any cause of action that was raised in the original Complaint or Amended Complaints is waived if it is not raised in a third amended complaint. King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). If Plaintiff files a third amended complaint, Plaintiff must write short, plain statements telling the Court: (1) the constitutional right Plaintiff believes was violated; (2) the name of the Defendant who violated the right; (3) exactly what that Defendant did or failed to do; (4) how the action or inaction of that Defendant is connected to the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional right; and (5) what specific injury Plaintiff suffered because of that Defendant's conduct. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976). -4- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 JDDL-K Plaintiff must repeat this process for each person he names as a Defendant. If Plaintiff fails to affirmatively link the conduct of each named Defendant with the specific injury suffered by Plaintiff, the allegations against that Defendant will be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Conclusory allegations that a Defendant or group of Defendants have violated a constitutional right are not acceptable and will be dismissed. V. Warnings A. Address Changes Plaintiff must file and serve a notice of a change of address in accordance with Rule 83-182(f) and 83-183(b) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff must not include a motion for other relief with a notice of change of address. Failure to comply may result in dismissal of this action. B. Copies Plaintiff must submit an additional copy of every filing for use by the Court. See LRCiv 5-133(d)(2). Failure to comply may result in the filing being stricken without further notice to Plaintiff. C. Possible Dismissal If Plaintiff fails to timely comply with every provision of this Order, including these warnings, the Court may dismiss this action without further notice. See Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260-61 (a district court may dismiss an action for failure to comply with any order of the Court). IT IS ORDERED: (1) The Second Amended Complaint (Doc. # 17) is dismissed for failure to comply with the Court's prior Order and Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff has 30 days from the date this Order is filed to file a third amended complaint in compliance with this Order. (2) If Plaintiff fails to file a third amended complaint within 30 days, the Clerk of Court must, without further notice, enter a judgment of dismissal of this action with prejudice. -5- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 JDDL-K (3) The Clerk of Court must include with this Order a copy of this judge's required form for filing a civil rights complaint by a prisoner. DATED this 2nd day of February, 2009. -6- Instructions for a Prisoner Filing a Civil Rights Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California 1. Who May Use This Form. The civil rights complaint form is designed to help incarcerated persons prepare a complaint seeking relief for a violation of their federal civil rights. These complaints typically concern, but are not limited to, conditions of confinement. This form should not be used to challenge your conviction or sentence. If you want to challenge a state conviction or sentence, you should file a petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254 for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody. If you want to challenge a federal conviction or sentence, you should file a motion under 28 U.S.C. 2255 to vacate sentence in the federal court that entered the judgment. 2. The Form. The form must be typed or neatly handwritten. The form must be completely filled in to the extent applicable. All questions must be answered clearly and concisely in the appropriate space on the form. If needed, you may attach additional pages, but no more than fifteen additional pages, of standard letter-sized paper. You must identify which part of the complaint is being continued and number all pages. If you do not fill out the form properly, you will be asked to submit additional or corrected information, which may delay the processing of your action. You do not need to cite law. 3. Your Signature. You must tell the truth and sign the form. If you make a false statement of a material fact, you may be prosecuted for perjury. 4. The Filing Fee. The filing fee for this action is $350.00. If you are unable to immediately pay the filing fee, you may request leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Please review the "Information for Prisoners Seeking Leave to Proceed with a (Non-Habeas) Civil Action in Federal Court In Forma Pauperis Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915" for additional instructions. 5. Original and Judge's Copy. You must send an original plus one copy of your complaint and of any other documents submitted to the Court. You must send one additional copy to the Court if you wish to have a file-stamped copy of the document returned to you. All copies must be identical to the original. Copies may be legibly handwritten. 6. Change of Address. You must immediately notify the Court and the defendants in writing of any change in your mailing address. Failure to notify the Court of any change in your mailing address may result in the dismissal of your case. 7. Certificate of Service. You must furnish the defendants with a copy of any document you submit to the Court (except the initial complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis). Each original document (except the initial complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis) must include a certificate of service on the last page of the document stating the date a copy of the document was mailed to the defendants and the address to which it was mailed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(a), (d). Any document received by the Court that does not include a certificate of service may be stricken. A certificate of service should be in the following form: Revised 12/1/08 1 I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed this (month, day, year) to: Name: Address: Attorney for Defendant(s) (Signature) 8. Amended Complaint. If you need to change any of the information in the initial complaint, you must file an amended complaint. The amended complaint must be written on the court-approved civil rights complaint form. You may file one amended complaint without leave (permission) of Court before any defendant has answered your original complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). After any defendant has filed an answer, you must file a motion for leave to amend and lodge (submit) a proposed amended complaint. In addition, an amended complaint may not incorporate by reference any part of your prior complaint. Any allegations or defendants not included in the amended complaint are considered dismissed. All amended complaints are subject to screening under the Prison Litigation Reform Act; screening your amendment will take additional processing time. 9. Exhibits. You should not submit exhibits with the complaint or amended complaint. Instead, the relevant information should be paraphrased. You should keep the exhibits to use to support or oppose a motion to dismiss, a motion for summary judgment, or at trial. 10. Letters and Motions. It is generally inappropriate to write a letter to any judge or the staff of any judge. The only appropriate way to communicate with the Court is by filing a written pleading or motion. 11. Completing the Civil Rights Complaint Form. HEADING: 1. Your Name. Print your name, prison or inmate number, and institutional mailing address on the lines provided. 2. Defendants. If there are four or fewer defendants, print the name of each. If you name more than four defendants, print the name of the first defendant on the first line, write the words "and others" on the second line, and attach an additional page listing the names of all of the defendants. Insert the additional page after page 1 and number it "1-A" at the bottom. 3. Jury Demand. If you want a jury trial, you must write "JURY TRIAL DEMANDED" in the space below "CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT BY A PRISONER." Failure to do so may result in the loss of the right to a jury trial. A jury trial is not available if you are seeking only injunctive relief. Part A. JURISDICTION: 1. Nature of Suit. Mark whether you are filing the complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 for state, county, or city defendants; "Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents" for 2 federal defendants; or "other." If you mark "other," identify the source of that authority. 2. Location. Identify the institution and city where the alleged violation of your rights occurred. 3. Defendants. Print all of the requested information about each of the defendants in the spaces provided. If you are naming more than four defendants, you must provide the necessary information about each additional defendant on separate pages labeled "2-A," "2B," etc., at the bottom. Insert the additional page(s) immediately behind page 2. Part B. PREVIOUS LAWSUITS: You must identify any other lawsuit you have filed in either state or federal court while you were a prisoner. Print all of the requested information about each lawsuit in the spaces provided. If you have filed more than three lawsuits, you must provide the necessary information about each additional lawsuit on a separate page. Label the page(s) as "2-A," "2-B," etc., at the bottom of the page and insert the additional page(s) immediately behind page 2. Part C. CAUSE OF ACTION: You must identify what rights each defendant violated. The form provides space to allege three separate counts (one violation per count). If you are alleging more than three counts, you must provide the necessary information about each additional count on a separate page. Number the additional pages "5-A," "5-B," etc., and insert them immediately behind page 5. Remember that you are limited to a total of fifteen additional pages. 1. Counts. You must identify which civil right was violated. You may allege the violation of only one civil right per count. 2. Issue Involved. Check the box that most closely identifies the issue involved in your claim. You may check only one box per count. If you check the box marked "Other," you must identify the specific issue involved. 3. Supporting Facts. After you have identified which civil right was violated, you must state the supporting facts. Be as specific as possible. You must state what each individual defendant did to violate your rights. If there is more than one defendant, you must identify which defendant did what act. You also should state the date(s) on which the act(s) occurred, if possible. 4. Injury. State precisely how you were injured by the alleged violation of your rights. 5. Administrative Remedies. You must exhaust any available administrative remedies before you file a civil rights complaint. See 42 U.S.C. 1997e. Consequently, you should disclose whether you have exhausted the inmate grievance procedures or administrative appeals for each count in your complaint. If the grievance procedures were not available for any of your counts, fully explain why on the lines provided. 3 Part D. REQUEST FOR RELIEF: Print the relief you are seeking in the space provided. SIGNATURE: You must sign your name and print the date you signed the complaint. Failure to sign the complaint will delay the processing of your action. Unless you are an attorney, you may not bring an action on behalf of anyone but yourself. FINAL NOTE You should follow these instructions carefully. Failure to do so may result in your complaint being stricken or dismissed. All questions must be answered concisely in the proper space on the form. If you need more space, you may attach no more than fifteen additional pages. But the form must be completely filled in to the extent applicable. If you attach additional pages, be sure to identify which section of the complaint is being continued and number the pages. 4 Name and Prisoner/Booking Number Place of Confinement Mailing Address City, State, Zip Code (Failure to notify the Court of your change of address may result in dismissal of this action.) IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA ) ) ) ) ) CASE NO. ) (To be supplied by the Clerk) ) ) ) ) CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT ) BY A PRISONER ) ) G Original Complaint ) G First Amended Complaint ) G Second Amended Complaint , (Full Name of Plaintiff) Plaintiff, vs. (1) (Full Name of Defendant) , , , , Defendant(s). Check if there are additional Defendants and attach page 1-A listing them. (2) (3) (4) G A. JURISDICTION 1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to: G 28 U.S.C. 1343(a); 42 U.S.C. 1983 G 28 U.S.C. 1331; Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). G Other: Institution/city where violation occurred: . . 2. Revised 12/1/08 1 550/555 B. DEFENDANTS 1. Name of first Defendant: at (Position and Title) 2. Name of second Defendant: at (Position and Title) 3. Name of third Defendant: at (Position and Title) 4. Name of fourth Defendant: at (Position and Title) (Institution) . The fourth Defendant is employed as: . (Institution) (Institution) . The third Defendant is employed as: . (Institution) . The second Defendant is employed as: . . The first Defendant is employed as: . If you name more than four Defendants, answer the questions listed above for each additional Defendant on a separate page. C. PREVIOUS LAWSUITS 1. 2. Have you filed any other lawsuits while you were a prisoner? If yes, how many lawsuits have you filed? G Yes G No . Describe the previous lawsuits: a. First prior lawsuit: 1. Parties: v. 2. Court and case number: 3. Result: (Was the case dismissed? Was it appealed? Is it still pending?) b. Second prior lawsuit: v. 1. Parties: 2. Court and case number: 3. Result: (Was the case dismissed? Was it appealed? Is it still pending?) c. Third prior lawsuit: 1. Parties: v. 2. Court and case number: 3. Result: (Was the case dismissed? Was it appealed? Is it still pending?) If you filed more than three lawsuits, answer the questions listed above for each additional lawsuit on a separate page. . . . . . . 2 D. CAUSE OF ACTION 1. 2. COUNT I State the constitutional or other federal civil right that was violated: . Count I. Identify the issue involved. Check only one. State additional issues in separate counts. G Basic necessities G Mail G Access to the court G Medical care G Disciplinary proceedings G Property G Exercise of religion G Retaliation G Excessive force by an officer G Threat to safety G Other: . 3. Supporting Facts. State as briefly as possible the FACTS supporting Count I. Describe exactly what each Defendant did or did not do that violated your rights. State the facts clearly in your own words without citing legal authority or arguments. . 4. Injury. State how you were injured by the actions or inactions of the Defendant(s). . 5. Administrative Remedies: a. Are there any administrative remedies (grievance procedures or administrative appeals) available at your G Yes G No institution? b. Did you submit a request for administrative relief on Count I? G Yes G No c. Did you appeal your request for relief on Count I to the highest level? G Yes G No d. If you did not submit or appeal a request for administrative relief at any level, briefly explain why you did not. . 3 1. 2. COUNT II State the constitutional or other federal civil right that was violated: . Count II. Identify the issue involved. Check only one. State additional issues in separate counts. G Basic necessities G Mail G Access to the court G Medical care G Disciplinary proceedings G Property G Exercise of religion G Retaliation G Excessive force by an officer G Threat to safety G Other: . 3. Supporting Facts. State as briefly as possible the FACTS supporting Count II. Describe exactly what each Defendant did or did not do that violated your rights. State the facts clearly in your own words without citing legal authority or arguments. . 4. Injury. State how you were injured by the actions or inactions of the Defendant(s). . 5. Administrative Remedies. a. Are there any administrative remedies (grievance procedures or administrative appeals) available at your institution? G Yes G No b. Did you submit a request for administrative relief on Count II? G Yes G No c. Did you appeal your request for relief on Count II to the highest level? G Yes G No d. If you did not submit or appeal a request for administrative relief at any level, briefly explain why you did not. . 4 1. 2. COUNT III State the constitutional or other federal civil right that was violated: . Count III. Identify the issue involved. Check only one. State additional issues in separate counts. G Basic necessities G Mail G Access to the court G Medical care G Disciplinary proceedings G Property G Exercise of religion G Retaliation G Excessive force by an officer G Threat to safety G Other: . 3. Supporting Facts. State as briefly as possible the FACTS supporting Count III. Describe exactly what each Defendant did or did not do that violated your rights. State the facts clearly in your own words without citing legal authority or arguments. . 4. Injury. State how you were injured by the actions or inactions of the Defendant(s). . 5. Administrative Remedies. a. Are there any administrative remedies (grievance procedures or administrative appeals) available at your G Yes G No institution? b. Did you submit a request for administrative relief on Count III? G Yes G No c. Did you appeal your request for relief on Count III to the highest level? G Yes G No d. If you did not submit or appeal a request for administrative relief at any level, briefly explain why you did not. . If you assert more than three Counts, answer the questions listed above for each additional Count on a separate page. 5 E. REQUEST FOR RELIEF State the relief you are seeking: . I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on DATE SIGNATURE OF PLAINTIFF (Name and title of paralegal, legal assistant, or other person who helped prepare this complaint) (Signature of attorney, if any) (Attorney's address & telephone number) ADDITIONAL PAGES All questions must be answered concisely in the proper space on the form. If you need more space, you may attach no more than fifteen additional pages. But the form must be completely filled in to the extent applicable. If you attach additional pages, be sure to identify which section of the complaint is being continued and number all pages. 6

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