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Andrillion v. Corrections Corporation

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 21, 2013

Kurt Dineso Andrillion, Plaintiff,
v.
Corrections Corporation of America, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

G. MURRAY SNOW, District Judge.

On March 21, 2013, Plaintiff Kurt Dineso Andrillion, who is a State of California inmate confined in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1) and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. On March 22, 2013, he filed a second Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.

In a March 26, 2013 Order, United States Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan noted that Plaintiff had not submitted a certified copy of his trust account statement, as required, and gave Plaintiff 30 days to submit the required trust account statement. In an April 2, 2013 Order, Magistrate Judge Brennan transferred the case to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, noting that Defendants are located in Arizona and Plaintiff's claims arose here. The case was subsequently assigned to the undersigned.

On April 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Letter addressed to the "Court Clerk" for the District Court for the Eastern District of California. On June 6, 2013, he filed a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 10). In a July 18, 2013 Order, the Court addressed Plaintiff's Letter, denied the deficient Applications to Proceed, and gave Plaintiff 30 days to pay the fee or file a complete Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.

On August 16, 2013, Plaintiff filed a third Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 12). The Court will grant the third Application to Proceed, dismiss the Complaint with leave to amend, and deny without prejudice the Motion for Appointment of Counsel.

I. Third Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Filing Fee

Plaintiff's third Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis will be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Plaintiff must pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The Court will not assess an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The statutory fee will be collected monthly in payments of 20% of the previous month's income each time the amount in the account exceeds $10.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The Court will enter a separate Order requiring the appropriate government agency to collect and forward the fees according to the statutory formula.

II. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 681.

But as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has instructed, courts must "continue to construe pro se filings liberally." Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se prisoner] must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ( per curiam )).

If the Court determines that a pleading could be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) ( en banc ). The Court should not, however, advise the litigant how to cure the defects. This type of advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); see also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13 (declining to decide whether the court was required to inform a litigant of deficiencies). The Court will dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a claim, but because the Complaint may possibly be saved by amendment, will dismiss the Complaint with leave to amend.

III. Complaint

In his Complaint, Plaintiff names as Defendants: Corrections Corporation of America, Red Rock Correctional Center Warden Bruno Stolc, Unit Manager A. Carter, and Mailroom Supervisors Triplett ...


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