Cranford v. King et al

Filing 10

ORDER DISMISSING Complaint and GRANTING Plaintiff Leave to File an Amended Complaint, signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 5/27/2015. Amended Complaint Due Within Thirty Days. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Complaint Form)(Marrujo, C)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 1:15-cv-00024 AWI GSA ARCHIE CRANFORD, ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT vs. AUDREY KING, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE IN THIRTY DAYS 17 18 19 20 I. Screening Requirement Plaintiff is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights 21 action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 22 Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. The matter was referred to a United States Magistrate 23 The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 24 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). 25 The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are 26 legally “frivolous or malicious,” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or 27 that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 28 1915A(b)(1),(2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been 1 1 paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or 2 appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 3 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 28 U.S.C. § 4 “Rule 8(a)’s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited 5 exceptions,” none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 6 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain “a 7 short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . .” Fed. 8 R.Civ. P. 8(a). “Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the 9 plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. 10 However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . . applies only to a plaintiff’s factual allegations.” 11 Nietze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n. 9 (1989). “[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights 12 complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.” Bruns v. 13 Nat’l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997)(quoting Ivey v.Bd. of Regents, 14 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)). 15 II. Plaintiff’s Claims 16 Plaintiff, a civil detainee housed at Coalinga State Hospital, brings this action against 17 defendants Audrey King, Coalinga State Hospital Executive Director, Program Director K. 18 Reed, and C. Allenby, former Executive Director. 19 Plaintiff’s complaint consists of 4 pages of rambling narrative, interspersed with copies 20 of documents from the California Office of Patient’s Rights regarding a complaint Plaintiff had 21 regarding his being denied meals for not presenting the proper identification. Plaintiff’s 22 allegations refer to a variety of conditions of his confinement, and appear to be complaints 23 about his conditions in general. Plaintiff fails to refer to the conduct of any specific individual 24 and does not refer to any specific timeline. Because Plaintiff has failed to charge any specific 25 defendant with any specific conduct, the complaint must be dismissed. 26 Further, Plaintiff is advised that Government officials may not be held liable for the 27 actions of their subordinates under a theory of respondeat superior. Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 28 662, 673 (2009). Since a government official cannot be held liable under a theory of vicarious 2 1 liability for section 1983 actions, Plaintiff must plead that the official has violated the 2 Constitution through his own individual actions. Id. at 673. In other words, to state a claim for 3 relief under section 1983, Plaintiff must link each named defendant with some affirmative act 4 or omission that demonstrates a violation of Plaintiff’s federal rights. Plaintiff has failed to do 5 so here. The complaint must therefore be dismissed. Plaintiff will, however, be granted leave 6 to file an amended complaint. 7 Plaintiff need not, however, set forth legal arguments in support of his claims. In order 8 to hold an individual defendant liable, Plaintiff must name the individual defendant, describe 9 where that defendant is employed and in what capacity, and explain how that defendant acted 10 under color of state law. Plaintiff should state clearly, in his own words, what happened. 11 Plaintiff must describe what each defendant, by name, did to violate the particular right 12 described by Plaintiff. 13 III. Conclusion 14 The Court has screened Plaintiff’s complaint and finds that it does not state any claims 15 upon which relief may be granted under section 1983. The Court will provide Plaintiff with the 16 opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies identified by the Court in this 17 order. Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448-49 (9th Cir. 1987). Plaintiff is cautioned that he 18 may not change the nature of this suit by adding new, unrelated claims in his amended 19 complaint. 20 Plaintiff’s amended complaint should be brief, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), but must state what 21 each named defendant did that led to the deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional or other 22 federal rights, Hydrick, 500 F.3d at 987-88. 23 allegations must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Bell 24 Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554 (2007)(citations omitted). Although accepted as true, the “[f]actual 25 Finally, Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint supersedes the original 26 complaint, Forsyth v. Humana, Inc., 114 F.3d 1467, 1474 (9th Cir. 1997); King v. Atiyeh, 814 27 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987), and must be “complete and in and of itself without reference to 28 the prior or superseded pleading.” Local Rule 15-220. Plaintiff is warned that “[a]ll causes of 3 1 action alleged in an original complaint which are not alleged in an amended complaint are 2 waived.” King, 814 F.2d at 567 (citing to London v. Coopers & Lybrand, 644 F.2d 811, 814 3 (9th Cir. 1981)). 4 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 5 1. Plaintiff’s complaint is dismissed, with leave to amend, for failure to state a 7 2. The Clerk’s Office shall send to Plaintiff a complaint form; 8 3. Within thirty days from the date of service of this order, Plaintiff shall file an 6 9 10 11 12 13 claim; amended complaint; 4. Plaintiff may not add any new, unrelated claims to this action via his amended complaint and any attempt to do so will result in an order striking the amended complaint; and 5. If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint, the Court will recommend that this action be dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim. 14 15 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 27, 2015 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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