Houston v. Sacramento County Superior Courts et al

Filing 12

ORDER to SHOW CAUSE signed by Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison on 08/23/17 ordering plaintiff shall show cause in writing within 30 days of the date of this order, why this action should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim. (Plummer, M)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JON LLOYD HOUSTON, 12 13 14 No. 2:16-CV-0869-CMK-P Plaintiff, vs. ORDER SACRAMENTO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 / 17 18 19 20 Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is plaintiff’s complaint (Doc. 1). The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief 21 against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. 22 § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or 23 malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief 24 from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Moreover, 25 the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that complaints contain a “. . . short and plain 26 statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). 1 1 This means that claims must be stated simply, concisely, and directly. See McHenry v. Renne, 2 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996) (referring to Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e)(1)). These rules are satisfied 3 if the complaint gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff’s claim and the grounds upon 4 which it rests. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996). Because plaintiff must 5 allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts by specific defendants which support 6 the claims, vague and conclusory allegations fail to satisfy this standard. Additionally, it is 7 impossible for the court to conduct the screening required by law when the allegations are vague 8 and conclusory. 9 Plaintiff names the following as defendants: (1) Sacramento County Superior 10 Court; and (2) Sacramento County. Plaintiff states that he was booked into the Sacramento 11 County Jail in June 26, 2015, and bail was set at $645,000.00, which included a $500,000.00 12 “bail enhancement” for a prior serious felony conviction. Plaintiff alleges that the bail amount 13 was unconstitutional. 14 While plaintiff states that his bail amount was unconstitutional, plaintiff does not 15 state why. According to the complaint, plaintiff was booked on charges of violations of 16 California Penal Code § 29800 – felon in possession of a firearm – and California Penal Code 17 § 30305 – possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. Plaintiff admits in his complaint a 18 prior serious felony conviction. Finally, plaintiff admits that he pleaded no-contest to these 19 charges. Assuming for the moment that plaintiff’s claim of excessive bail is cognizable under 20 § 1983 and assuming that his claim is not moot because he pleaded no-contest, plaintiff has not 21 alleged any facts to indicate that bail was set at a figure higher than was reasonably calculated to 22 ensure his appearance. See Stack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1 (1951). 23 Because it does not appear possible that the deficiencies identified herein can be 24 cured by amending the complaint, plaintiff is not entitled to leave to amend prior to dismissal of 25 the entire action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). 26 Plaintiff shall show cause in writing, within 30 days of the date of this order, why this action 2 1 should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff is warned that failure to respond to 2 this order may result in dismissal of the action for the reasons outlined above, as well as for 3 failure to prosecute and comply with court rules and orders. See Local Rule 110. 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 6 7 8 DATED: August 23, 2017 ______________________________________ CRAIG M. KELLISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?