Washam v. Lake County Sheriff's Jail Dept. et al

Filing 6

ORDER DISMISSING WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Signed by Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte on 1/14/14. (lrcS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/15/2014)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 GRANT LESLIE WASHAM, ORDER DISMISSING WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. 8 9 No. C 13-5335 EDL (PR) Plaintiff, 7 LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT., et. al., Defendants. / 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 Plaintiff, a detainee at Lake County Jail, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint 13 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.1 14 DISCUSSION 15 A. Standard of Review 16 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners 17 seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 18 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and 19 dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may 20 be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 21 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police 22 Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). 23 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of 24 the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not necessary; 25 the statement need only '"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the 26 grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations 27 28 1 Plaintiff has filed four actions in this court in the past month and some of the actions have overlapping claims. allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds’ of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' 3 requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a 4 cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief 5 above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) 6 (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is 7 plausible on its face." Id. at 570. The United States Supreme Court has recently explained 8 the “plausible on its face” standard of Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide the 9 framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are 10 well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine 11 For the Northern District of California omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual 2 United States District Court 1 whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 12 679 (2009). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 13 14 elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was 15 violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the 16 color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 17 B. Legal Claims 18 Plaintiff states that jail officials have obstructed his efforts to pursue legal actions. 19 Prisoners have a constitutional right of access to the courts. See Lewis v. Casey, 20 518 U.S. 343, 350 (1996); Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821 (1977). To establish a 21 claim for any violation of the right of access to the courts, the prisoner must prove that there 22 was an inadequacy in the prison's legal access program that caused him an actual injury. 23 See Lewis, 518 U.S. at 350-55. To prove an actual injury, the prisoner must show that the 24 inadequacy in the prison's program hindered his efforts to pursue a non-frivolous claim 25 concerning his conviction or conditions of confinement. See id. at 354-55. 26 27 Plaintiff first alleges that a defendant learned of a complaint he filed and never returned some legal papers he needed copied. Plaintiff next alleges a supervisor is 28 2 1 covering up the physical abuse of inmates including plaintiff’s assault, by taking legal 2 materials. Plaintiff then describes how defendant Henderson took his legal and financial 3 documents and did not return them. 4 The allegations against defendant Henderson are the subject of Case No. C 13- 5 4957 EDL (PR), where plaintiff’s complaint was dismissed with leave to amend. Therefore, 6 this claim is dismissed with prejudice from the instant action. To the extent plaintiff has 7 been having difficulties pursuing his legal actions, he must provide more information 8 describing how his efforts to pursue a non-frivolous claim concerning his conviction or 9 conditions of confinement were hindered. Simply attaching exhibits is insufficient. It is not clear what documents have been taken or denied and how it has harmed his legal 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 proceedings. To the extent plaintiff wishes to allege retaliation he must also describe the 12 specific actions of the defendants. The bare and conclsuory allegations in this complaint 13 fail to state a claim. CONCLUSION 14 15 1. The complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend in accordance with the 16 standards set forth above. The amended complaint must be filed within twenty-eight (28) 17 days of the date this order is filed and must include the caption and civil case number used 18 in this order and the words AMENDED COMPLAINT on the first page. Because an 19 amended complaint completely replaces the original complaint, plaintiff must include in it all 20 the claims he wishes to present. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 21 1992). He may not incorporate material from the original complaint by reference. Failure to 22 amend within the designated time will result in the dismissal of this action. 23 2. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to prosecute this case. Plaintiff must keep the 24 court informed of any change of address by filing a separate paper with the clerk headed 25 “Notice of Change of Address,” and must comply with the court's orders in a timely fashion. 26 Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute pursuant to 27 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). 28 3 1 2 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 14, 2014. ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE United States Chief Magistrate Judge 3 4 G:\PRO-SE\EDL\CR.13\Washam5335.dwlta.wpd 5 6 7 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 2 3 GRANT LESLIE WASHAM, 4 Case Number: CV13-05335 EDL Plaintiff, 5 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE v. 6 LAKE COUNTY SHERIFFS JAIL et al, 7 Defendant. 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 / I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on January 15, 2014, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. 13 14 15 16 Grant Leslie Washam #37933 L.C.S.O. Sheriff’s Jail 4913 Helbush Dr. Lakeport, CA 95453 17 18 19 Dated: January 15, 2014 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Lisa R Clark, Deputy Clerk 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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