Hamilton v. Rodriguez et al

Filing 6

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Amended Complaint due by 2/7/2013. Signed by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton on 1/7/13. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(nah, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/7/2013)

Download PDF
1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 OAKLAND DIVISION 6 7 EUGENE LAMAR HAMILTON, Plaintiff, 8 vs. 9 ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND T. RODRIGUEZ, et. al., Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 No. C 12-4697 PJH (PR) / 12 Plaintiff, an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison, has filed a pro se civil rights 13 complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has been granted leave to proceed in forma 14 pauperis. 15 DISCUSSION 16 A. Standard of Review 17 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners 18 seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 19 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and 20 dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may 21 be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 22 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police 23 Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). 24 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of 25 the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not necessary; 26 the statement need only '"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the 27 grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations 28 omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual 1 allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds’ of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' 2 requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a 3 cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief 4 above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) 5 (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is 6 plausible on its face." Id. at 570. The United States Supreme Court has recently explained 7 the “plausible on its face” standard of Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide the 8 framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are 9 well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 1937, 1950 (2009). 12 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 13 elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was 14 violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the 15 color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 16 B. 17 Legal Claims Plaintiff has filed three complaints in this action, and the court has screened the 18 most recent complaint. Docket No. 4. Plaintiff names approximately twenty defendants 19 and states that they planted inmate manufactured weapons in plaintiff’s wheelchair and 20 then conspired to have plaintiff found guilty at a disciplinary hearing. As a result of the 21 guilty finding, plaintiff states he was assessed a twelve month loss of time credits. Petition 22 at 14, 36, 40. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and expungement of the disciplinary 23 finding from his record. 24 This claim appears to be barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). In 25 Heck the United States Supreme Court held that in order to recover damages for an 26 allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions 27 whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a plaintiff must prove 28 that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive 2 1 order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called 2 into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Id. at 486-487. A 3 claim for damages arising from a conviction or sentence that has not been so invalidated is 4 not cognizable under section 1983. Id. Heck has been extended to prison disciplinary 5 hearings where time credits were affected. Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 648 (1997) 6 When a state prisoner seeks damages in a section 1983 suit, the district court must consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of 8 his continued confinement; if it would, the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff 9 can demonstrate that the conviction or sentence has already been invalidated. Id. at 487. 10 It does not appear this disciplinary finding has been invalidated, so this claim must 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 7 be dismissed, though plaintiff will be provided an opportunity to demonstrate the reversal of 12 the finding. See Trimble v. City of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 585 (9th Cir. 1995) (claims 13 barred by Heck may be dismissed sua sponte without prejudice). 14 CONCLUSION 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 no later than February 7, 17 2013, and must include the caption and civil case number used in this order and the words 18 AMENDED COMPLAINT on the first page. Because an amended complaint completely 19 replaces the original complaint, plaintiff must include in it all the claims he wishes to 20 present. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). He may not 21 incorporate material from the original complaint by reference. Failure to amend within the 22 designated time will result in the dismissal of these claims. 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 7, 2013. PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge 3 4 G:\PRO-SE\PJH\CR.12\Hamilton4697.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

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?