Amey v. California Medical Correctional Health Care Services et al

Filing 6

ORDER and FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 03/31/17 granting 2 Motion to Proceed IFP. Plaintiff is obligated to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. All fees shall be collected in accordance with the court's CDC order filed concurrently herewith. Also, RECOMMENDING that the complaint be dismissed without leave to amend. Referred to Judge William B. Shubb. Objections due within 14 days. (Plummer, M)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 CEDRIC B. AMEY, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 15 No. 2:16-cv-2303 WBS DB P v. ORDER AND CALIFORNIA MEDICAL CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES, et al., 16 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Defendants. 17 18 Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 19 U.S.C. § 1983. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 20 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Plaintiff’s complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis are before 21 the court. 22 I. 23 24 25 In Forma Pauperis Application Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 26 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial filing fee in 27 accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct 28 the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee from plaintiff’s trust account and 1 1 forward it to the Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated for monthly payments 2 of twenty percent of the preceding month’s income credited to plaintiff’s prison trust account. 3 These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to the Clerk of the Court each time 4 the amount in plaintiff’s account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 5 1915(b)(2). 6 II. Screening Requirement The in forma pauperis statute provides, “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion 7 8 thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court 9 determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be 10 granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 11 III. 12 Pleading Standard Section 1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or 13 immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. 14 Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of 15 substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred 16 elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989). 17 To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a 18 right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged 19 violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 20 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987). 21 A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the 22 pleader is entitled to relief . . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not 23 required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere 24 conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell 25 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual 26 matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial 27 plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, 28 while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 677-78. 2 1 IV. 2 3 Plaintiff’s Allegations This action proceeds against defendants California Corrections Health Care Services (“CCHSC”) and the California Department of Corrections (“CDCR”). 4 Plaintiff’s allegations may be fairly summarized as follows: 5 On May 16, 2016, plaintiff received a letter titled “Notice of Data Breach.” Compl. Ex. A 6 (ECF No. 1 at 7). Per this letter, an unencrypted laptop was stolen from a CCHCS workforce 7 member’s personal vehicle. Although the laptop was password protected, it was unclear if any 8 sensitive information was on the laptop. To the extent there was sensitive information, it was 9 unclear if any of that included plaintiff’s information. If plaintiff’s information was included, the 10 information would have included confidential medical, mental health, and custodial information 11 from between 1996 and 2014. 12 Plaintiff claims his Fourth Amendment rights and rights under California law were 13 violated by the negligence of CDCR and CCHSC. He seeks damages. 14 V. 15 Discussion Plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed for four reasons: First, plaintiff is required to 16 establish standing for each claim he asserts. DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 352 17 (2006). If a plaintiff has no standing, the court has no subject matter jurisdiction. Nat’l Wildlife 18 Fed’n v. Adams, 629 F.2d 587, 593 n.11 (9th Cir. 1980) (“[B]efore reaching a decision on the 19 merits, we [are required to] address the standing issue to determine if we have jurisdiction.”). 20 There are three requirements that must be met for a plaintiff to have standing: (1) the 21 plaintiff must have suffered an “injury in fact”—an invasion of a legally protected interest which 22 is both concrete and particularized and actual or imminent; (2) there must be a causal connection 23 between the injury and the conduct complained of; and (3) it must be likely that the injury will be 24 redressed by a favorable decision. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992); 25 Wash. Legal Found. v. Legal Found. of Wash., 271 F.3d 835, 847 (9th Cir. 2001) (en banc). 26 Here, plaintiff has not shown he has standing to sue because the complaint demonstrates 27 only that the theft of the state’s laptop has the potential to injure plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges no 28 actual misuse of his personal information stemming from the theft. 3 1 Second, the violation of state tort law, state regulations, rules and policies of the CDCR, 2 or other state law is not sufficient to state a claim for relief under § 1983. To state a claim under § 3 1983, there must be a deprivation of federal constitutional or statutory rights. See Paul v. Davis, 4 424 U.S. 693 (1976). Although the court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law 5 claims, plaintiff must first have a cognizable claim for relief under federal law. See 28 U.S.C. § 6 1367. 7 Third, the complaint fails to state a claim for violation of the Fourth Amendment, which 8 governs the reasonableness of government searches and seizures. Here, no government search or 9 seizure is alleged. Nor does the complaint state a claim under the Due Process Clause, which 10 protects prisoners from being deprived of property without due process of law. Wolff v. 11 McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556 (1974). “It is well established that negligent conduct is ordinarily 12 not enough to state a claim alleging a denial of liberty or property under the Fourteenth 13 Amendment. See Doe v. Beard, 2014 WL 3507196, *6 (C.D. Cal. July 14, 2014), citing Daniels 14 v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 330 (1986); Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344, 347 (1986) (“[T]he 15 Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not implicated by the lack of due care of an 16 official causing unintended injury to life, liberty or property. In other words, where a government 17 official is merely negligent in causing the injury, no procedure for compensation is 18 constitutionally required.”). 19 Finally, the Eleventh Amendment serves as a jurisdictional bar to suits brought by private 20 parties against a state or state agency unless the state or the agency consents to such suit. See 21 Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332 (1979); Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781 (1978)( per curiam); 22 Jackson v. Hayakawa, 682 F.2d 1344, 1349-50 (9th Cir. 1982). Because the State of California 23 has not consented to suit, plaintiff’s claims against CCHCS and CDCR must be dismissed. 24 25 26 For these reasons, the complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under § 1983. VI. Leave to Amend If the court finds that a complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim, the court 27 has discretion to dismiss with or without leave to amend. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126- 28 30 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears possible that the 4 1 defects in the complaint could be corrected, especially if a plaintiff is pro se. Id. at 1130-31; see 2 also Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995) (“A pro se litigant must be given 3 leave to amend his or her complaint, and some notice of its deficiencies, unless it is absolutely 4 clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by amendment.”) (citing Noll v. 5 Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987)). However, if, after careful consideration, it is clear 6 that a complaint cannot be cured by amendment, the court may dismiss without leave to amend. 7 Cato, 70 F.3d at 1005-06. 8 9 The undersigned finds that, as set forth above, plaintiff lacks standing and his allegations show only speculative injury. Because the complaint does not state a cognizable federal claim, the 10 court lacks supplemental jurisdiction over any state law claims. As it appears amendment would 11 be futile, the undersigned will recommend that this action be dismissed without leave to amend. 12 VI. Conclusion 13 Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s in forma pauperis application 14 (ECF No. 2) is granted. Plaintiff is obligated to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this 15 action. Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 16 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). All fees shall be collected and paid in accordance with this court’s order to 17 the Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation filed concurrently 18 herewith; and 19 20 IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that the complaint be dismissed without leave to amend. 21 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 22 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen days 23 after being served with these findings and recommendations, plaintiff may file written objections 24 with the court. Such a document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings 25 //// 26 //// 27 //// 28 //// 5 1 and Recommendations.” Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the specified 2 time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 3 (9th Cir. 1991). 4 Dated: March 31, 2017 5 6 7 8 /DLB7; DB/Inbox/Substantive/amey2303.scrn 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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