(PC) Cole v. McFadden-Jensen et al

Filing 14

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Amended Complaint due by 3/29/2021. Signed by Judge William H. Orrick on 2/18/2021. (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/18/2021) Any non-CM/ECF Participants have been served by First Class Mail to the addresses of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 STEIN COLE, Plaintiff, 5 ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. 6 7 Case No. 20-cv-06400-WHO (PR) R. MCFADDEN-JENSEN, et al., Defendants. 8 INTRODUCTION 9 Plaintiff Stein Cole’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint is DISMISSED with leave to file 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 an amended complaint on or before March 29, 2021. His allegations contain unrelated 12 and factually insufficient claims against more than thirty defendants at three different 13 prisons, one of which is outside this district. This is improper. Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2). In 14 the amended complaint, Cole must decide which of his claims to pursue, as discussed 15 below. Failure to file a proper amended complaint by the deadline, or a failure to comply 16 in every respect with the instructions given in this order, likely will result in the dismissal 17 of this suit and the entry of judgment in favor of defendants. DISCUSSION 18 19 20 A. Standard of Review A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a 21 prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a 22 governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any 23 cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim 24 upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune 25 from such relief. See id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. 26 See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). 27 28 A “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) 1 (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial 2 plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the 3 reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (quoting 4 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Furthermore, a court “is not required to accept legal 5 conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably 6 be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754–55 7 (9th Cir. 1994). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 8 elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was 10 violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 9 color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 12 B. 13 Legal Claims Cole raises claims against more than thirty defendants who are employed at three 14 different prisons--Mule Creek State Prison, CTF-Soledad, and Salinas Valley State Prison. 15 He raises claims under (i) the First Amendment and Religious Land Use and 16 Institutionalized Persons Act for religious discrimination and retaliation; (ii) the 17 Rehabilitation Act; (iii) the Americans With Disabilities Act, (iv) the Fourteenth 18 Amendment; and (v) the Eighth Amendment. 19 Many of the alleged incidents occurred at Mule Creek State Prison, which is not in 20 the Northern District. Accordingly, all Mule Creek defendants and claims are 21 DISMISSED without prejudice to Cole filing suit against these defendants in the Eastern 22 District of California, where Mule Creek is located. 23 Many of Cole’s remaining claims are based on unrelated incidents occurring at 24 different prisons (CTF-Soledad and Salinas Valley) by different persons. This is improper. 25 He may not bring unrelated claims in one suit. Federal pleading rules require that claims 26 be based on “the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences” 27 and pose a “question of law or fact common to all defendants.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2). 28 In his amended complaint, he must decide which claim he wishes to pursue. He may then 2 1 allege facts that give rise to that claim and any other claim that is closely related to the 2 facts involved, as required by Rule 20(a)(2). As should be clear from that instruction, in 3 the amended complaint Cole must choose to bring his claim(s) against either (i) the CTF- 4 Soledad defendants or (ii) the Salinas Valley defendants. 5 His religious exercise claims are deficient for a separate reason. He has not 6 described what religion he follows, or exactly how his exercise of this religion has been 7 inhibited. It fails to state a claim on which relief could be granted. 8 9 For those reasons, Cole’s Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend. I DISMISS without leave to amend his claims for injunctive relief against defendants at CTF-Soledad and Salinas Valley. Because plaintiff is now housed at Mule Creek, 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 injunctive relief claims at the other two prisons are moot. CONCLUSION 12 13 The complaint is DISMISSED with leave to file an amended complaint in 14 accordance with the discussion above on or before March 29, 2021. The amended 15 complaint must include the caption and civil case number used in this order (20-06400 16 WHO (PR)) and the words FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT on the first page. The 17 amended complaint must also appear on this Court’s form. Because an amended 18 complaint completely replaces the previous complaints, plaintiff must include in his first 19 amended complaint all the claims he wishes to present and all of the defendants he wishes 20 to sue. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). He may not 21 incorporate material from the prior complaints by reference. 22 Failure to file an amended complaint in accordance with this order likely will result 23 in dismissal of this action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) for failure to 24 prosecute. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 Dated: February 18, 2021 _________________________ WILLIAM H. ORRICK United States District Judge 27 28 3

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