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Smith v. Juarez

United States District Court, D. Arizona

December 16, 2015

William Allen Smith, Plaintiff,
v.
Unknown Juarez, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

David G. Campbell United States District Judge

On September 25, 2015, Plaintiff William Allen Smith, who is confined in the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In an October 13, 2015 Order, the Court granted the Application to Proceed and dismissed the Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On October 28, 2015, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint. In a November 10, 2015 Order, the Court dismissed the First Amended Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file a second amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On December 3, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 10). The Court will dismiss the Second Amended Complaint and this action. . . . .

I. 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)).

II. Second Amended Complaint

In his eight-count Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff sues the following employees at the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA): Case Manager Juarez, Correctional Counselors Cooper and Castillo, and Correctional Officer Drexler. In his Request for Relief, Plaintiff seeks the appointment of counsel and monetary damages.

In Count One, Plaintiff asserts a retaliation claim and alleges that on September 25, 2014, he got into a verbal altercation with Defendant Castillo. After the verbal altercation, Defendant Castillo “called a ‘code, ’” and three staff members stole and destroyed Plaintiff’s personal property. Plaintiff claims that the California Department of Corrections (CDC) and CCA told him “that [his] rights were violated.” Plaintiff claims he was injured as follows: he was “penalized for talking” and his property was stolen and destroyed.

In Counts Two, Three, and Four, Plaintiff asserts retaliation claims and alleges that on September 25, 2014, Defendants Juarez, Cooper, and Drexler destroyed his cell and stole and destroyed his personal property in retaliation for a verbal altercation that took place between Plaintiff and Defendant Castillo. Plaintiff claims that CDC and CCA told him that Defendants Juarez, Cooper, and Drexler “violated [Plaintiff’s] rights.”

In Count Five, Plaintiff asserts a property claim and alleges that on September 25, 2014, Defendant Castillo stole and destroyed his personal property. Plaintiff further alleges that, although he did “appeal the action, [he] was not afforded a fair process, ” as he “was ...


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