Lockwood v. State of California

Filing 10

ORDER Dismissing Complaint with Leave to Amend. Signed by Judge Nandor J. Vadas on 9/26/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(njvlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/26/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 EUREKA DIVISON 7 8 ROBERT LOCKWOOD, Case No. 17-cv-3999-NJV (PR) Plaintiff, 9 ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. 10 11 STATE OF CALIFORNIA, United States District Court Northern District of California Defendant. 12 13 14 Plaintiff, a Texas state prisoner, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 15 1983. The court dismissed the original complaint with leave to amend. (Doc. 8.) Plaintiff has 16 filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 9.) DISCUSSION 17 18 Standard of Review 19 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek 20 redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 21 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims 22 which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek 23 monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se 24 pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th 25 Cir. 1990). 26 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the 27 claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not necessary; the 28 statement need only “‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.’”” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). Although 2 in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's 3 obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and 4 conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . 5 Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell 6 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must 7 proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. The United 8 States Supreme Court has recently explained the “plausible on its face” standard of Twombly: 9 “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by 10 factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 1 veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Ashcroft 12 v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). 13 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) 14 that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the 15 alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 16 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 17 Legal Claims 18 Plaintiff states that he was falsely arrested. 19 A claim of unlawful arrest is cognizable under § 1983 for violation of the Fourth 20 Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure if the allegation is that the 21 arrest was without probable cause or other justification. See Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 555- 22 558 (1967); see, e.g. Lacey v. Maricopa County, 693 F.3d 896, 918-919 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc) 23 (allegations that special prosecutor ordered or otherwise procured arrests and arrests were without 24 probable cause enough to state a § 1983 claim of unlawful arrest against special prosecutor); 25 Conner v. Heiman, 672 F.3d 1126, 1132 (9th Cir. 2012) (reversing denial of qualified immunity 26 when there was “no question” that officers had probable cause to believe that plaintiff had 27 committed the actus reus of theft, even though reasonable people could draw different conclusions 28 based on plaintiff's behavior). A claim of bad faith in making an arrest may also be a cause of 2 1 action under § 1983 as an illegal and unconstitutional arrest. See Bretz v. Kelman, 773 F.2d 1026, 2 1031 (9th Cir. 1985) (en banc). In order to recover damages for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, 3 4 or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence 5 invalid, a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed 6 on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to 7 make such determination, or called into question by a federal court’s issuance of a writ of habeas 8 corpus. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-487 (1994). A claim for damages bearing that 9 relationship to a conviction or sentence that has not been so invalidated is not cognizable under § 10 1983. Id. at 487. In the original complaint plaintiff stated he was unlawfully arrested in California by San United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Benito County Sheriff’s officers. He stated that he was arrested because of the State of Texas. It 13 was not clear if he was arrested based on a Texas warrant or if there was an independent crime and 14 conviction in California. He sought money damages and for his criminal record to be expunged. 15 In dismissing the complaint with leave to amend, the court informed Plaintiff that to challenge his 16 conviction, he must file a habeas petition. To obtain money damages, plaintiff must first 17 demonstrate that his conviction has been reversed or expunged. Plaintiff was also informed that 18 he needed to provide more information concerning his arrest and conviction and identify the 19 individual San Benito County Sheriffs and describe their actions. Plaintiff’s amended complaint is only one page long and fails to address the deficiencies 20 21 discussed above. In the amended complaint, plaintiff states he was arrested by San Bernardino 22 County Sheriffs in either 1987 or 1997. 1 If plaintiff was arrested in San Bernardino County then 23 this case must be transferred to the Central District. In addition, plaintiff’s claims appear to be 24 many years beyond the statute of limitations and plaintiff has not addressed if his arrest led to a 25 conviction and if the conviction was reversed or expunged. The amended complaint is dismissed 26 with leave to amend to provide more information. Plaintiff must identify when he was arrested, 27 28 1 Plaintiff’s handwriting is unclear. 3 1 where he was arrested, the names of the arresting officers he seeks relief against and the status of 2 the arrest and conviction. Failure to amend will result in the dismissal of this action. Plaintiff is 3 again informed that because an amended complaint completely replaces the original complaint, 4 plaintiff must include in it all the claims he wishes to present. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 5 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). He may not incorporate material from the original or amended 6 complaint by reference. CONCLUSION 7 8 9 1. The amended complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend in accordance with the standards set forth above. The amended complaint must be filed within twenty-eight (28) days of the date this order is filed and must include the caption and civil case number used in this order 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 and the words AMENDED COMPLAINT on the first page. Because an amended complaint 12 completely replaces the original complaint, plaintiff must include in it all the claims he wishes to 13 present. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). He may not incorporate 14 material from the original complaint by reference. Failure to amend within the designated time 15 will result in the dismissal of this case. 16 2. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to prosecute this case. Plaintiff must keep the court 17 informed of any change of address by filing a separate paper with the clerk headed “Notice of 18 Change of Address,” and must comply with the court's orders in a timely fashion. Failure to do so 19 may result in the dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 20 Procedure 41(b). 21 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 26, 2017 ________________________ NANDOR J. VADAS United States Magistrate Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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