(PC)Cook v. Sacramento County et al

Filing 19

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Dennis M. Cota on 1/7/2022 DISMISSING plaintiff's original complaint with leave to amend. Plaintiff shall file a first amended complaint within 30 days. (Yin, K)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MARILYN YVETTE COOK, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:21-CV-0893-DMC-P Plaintiff, v. ORDER SACRAMENTO COUNTY, et al., Defendants. 16 17 18 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 original complaint, ECF No. 1. 19 The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief 20 against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. 21 § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or 22 malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief 23 from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Moreover, 24 the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that complaints contain a “. . . short and plain 25 statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). This 26 means that claims must be stated simply, concisely, and directly. See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 27 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996) (referring to Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e)(1)). These rules are satisfied if the 28 complaint gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff’s claim and the grounds upon which it 1 1 rests. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996). Because Plaintiff must allege 2 with at least some degree of particularity overt acts by specific defendants which support the 3 claims, vague and conclusory allegations fail to satisfy this standard. Additionally, it is 4 impossible for the Court to conduct the screening required by law when the allegations are vague 5 and conclusory. 6 I. PLAINTIFF’S ALLEGATIONS 7 8 9 Plaintiff names Sacramento County and Sheriff Scott R. Jones as defendants. ECF No. 1, pg. 2. Plaintiff alleges the following: 10 My constitutional and inalienable rights have been violated. Furthermore, I have suffered [], crimes against humanity, and war crimes as a pretrial detainee at Sac. Co. main jail. [] The disadvantages of federalism is the states and local governments can block important national policies such as civil rights (2) allows the power of local interest to go unchecked and allows for [] variations on how people are treated. Sac. Co. jail has treated me and other pretrial detainees as if we are enemies of the state when we are not. 11 12 13 14 15 Id. at 3. 16 17 18 19 20 II. DISCUSSION Plaintiff complaint is insufficient. Specifically, Plaintiff fails to allege an actual connection or link between the actions of the named Defendants and the alleged deprivations. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must allege an actual 21 connection or link between the actions of the named defendants and the alleged deprivations. See 22 Monell v. Dep’t of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976). “A 23 person ‘subjects’ another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of 24 § 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform 25 an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made.” 26 Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Vague and conclusory allegations 27 concerning the involvement of official personnel in civil rights violations are not sufficient. See 28 Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). Rather, the plaintiff must set forth 2 1 specific facts as to each individual defendant’s causal role in the alleged constitutional 2 deprivation. See Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988). 3 Here, Plaintiff does not even mention Defendant Jones in Plaintiff’s supporting 4 facts. Additionally, there is no mention of any actions taken by any person or entity in Plaintiff’s 5 supporting facts. Plaintiff will be provided an opportunity to amend. Upon amending, Plaintiff 6 should keep in mind the following: as to each Defendant, Plaintiff must allege which Defendant 7 took what action that caused which specific constitutional violation. 8 9 Further, Plaintiff references a complaint that was allegedly mailed to the U.S. clerk on April 29, 2021. Plaintiff is advised that the Court cannot refer to a prior pleading in order to 10 make Plaintiff’s complaint complete. See Local Rule 220. A complaint must be complete in 11 itself without reference to any prior pleading. Id. 12 13 14 III. CONCLUSION Because it is possible that the deficiencies identified in this order may be cured by 15 amending the complaint, Plaintiff is entitled to leave to amend prior to dismissal of the entire 16 action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Plaintiff is 17 informed that, as a general rule, an amended complaint supersedes the original complaint. See 18 Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). Thus, following dismissal with leave to 19 amend, all claims alleged in the original complaint which are not alleged in the amended 20 complaint are waived. See King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). Therefore, if 21 Plaintiff amends the complaint, the Court cannot refer to the prior pleading in order to make 22 Plaintiff's amended complaint complete. See Local Rule 220. An amended complaint must be 23 complete in itself without reference to any prior pleading. See id. 24 If Plaintiff chooses to amend the complaint, Plaintiff must demonstrate 25 how the conditions complained of have resulted in a deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional 26 rights. See Ellis v. Cassidy, 625 F.2d 227 (9th Cir. 1980). The complaint must allege in specific 27 terms how each named defendant is involved and must set forth some affirmative link or 28 connection between each defendant’s actions and the claimed deprivation. See May v. Enomoto, 3 1 2 633 F.2d 164, 167 (9th Cir. 1980); Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Finally, Plaintiff is warned that failure to file a first amended complaint within the 3 time provided in this order may be grounds for dismissal of this action. See Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 4 1260-61; see also Local Rule 110. Plaintiff is also warned that a complaint which fails to comply 5 with Rule 8 may, in the Court’s discretion, be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(b). 6 See Nevijel v. North Coast Life Ins. Co., 651 F.2d 671, 673 (9th Cir. 1981). 7 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 8 1. Plaintiff’s original complaint is dismissed with leave to amend; and 9 2. Plaintiff shall file a first amended complaint within 30 days of the date of 10 service of this order. 11 12 13 Dated: January 7, 2022 ____________________________________ DENNIS M. COTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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