United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
SECOND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
L. STROMBOM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
December 13, 2016, the Court declined to serve pro
se plaintiff Gregory Tyree Brown's civil rights
complaint (Dkt. 4) because of several noted deficiencies.
Dkt. 5. However, the Court granted plaintiff leave to file an
amended complaint, and an extension of time within which to
do so, to cure the deficiencies or to show cause why his
complaint should not be dismissed. Dkt. 7. Plaintiff's 84
page amended complaint, naming 58 defendants and
“John/Jane Does I through CI”, was filed on
February 13, 2017. The amended complaint is also deficient
and many of the claims asserted appear to be untimely.
Plaintiff will be afforded one last opportunity to cure the
deficiencies noted herein. He may file a second amended
complaint by April 28, 2017.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
The fact that a prisoner pays the filing fee is no barrier to
a court, when dismissing the case as frivolous, directing
that the dismissal count as a strike under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g). Belanus v. Clark, 796 F.3d 1021, 1028 (9th
original complaint, plaintiff named 18 defendants but
included no factual allegations against any of them. His
complaint contained only vague and conclusory allegations
that all of the defendants conspired to institute policies of
harassment and retaliation in the handling of inmate funds
and legal supplies, disciplinary sanctions and proceedings,
legal mail, grievances, and limiting access to photocopying
and the law library. Dkt. 4. The Court advised plaintiff
that, if he intended to pursue this lawsuit, he must allege
facts showing who violated his rights, when they violated his
rights, and how this violation caused him harm. Dkt. 5. He
was also advised that Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure “requires a complaint to include a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the defendant
fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 554 (2007) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41 (1957)). In addition, to avoid dismissal for failure
to state a claim, plaintiff must include more than
“naked assertions, ” “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555-557. A claim upon which the court can grant
relief has facial plausibility; in other words, a claim has
“facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
amended complaint is not a plain and short statement of his
claims. Instead it is 85 pages long and names 58 defendants
in addition to “John/Jane Does I thru CI.” Dkt.
8. Generally summarized, plaintiff appears to assert claims
relating to, inter alia: (1) improper handling of
grievances; (2) lack of due process for infractions and/or
disciplinary hearings; (3) conspiracy; (4) retaliation; (5)
mishandling of legal mail; (6) violation of religious
freedoms; and (7) interference with access to courts.
instances, plaintiff's allegations are confusing and he
fails to allege facts from which it may be inferred that any
of the named defendants violated his constitutional rights.
Instead, he lumps together all “defendants” and
claims they have violated his rights. The Court cannot
reasonably discharge its screening responsibility under
§ 1915A until plaintiff complies with the pleading
requirements set forth in Rule 8. In this regard, plaintiff
should list his factual allegations according to the claims
that he is asserting rather than lumping all of his factual
allegations together in simple chronological order regardless
of their relation to a particular claim.
is advised that in order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, a complaint must establish “the violation
of a right secured by the Constitution and the laws of the
United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.”
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Section 1983
does not provide a cause of action for violations of state
law. See Ove v. Gwinn, 264 F.3d 817, 824 (9th Cir.
2001). Thus, plaintiff must clarify whether he has any basis
for pursuing a claim under § 1983. In the second amended
complaint, plaintiff must write out short, plain statements
telling the Court: (1) the constitutional right plaintiff
believes was violated; (2) the name of the person who
violated the right; (3) exactly what that person did or
failed to do; (4) how the action or inaction of that person
is connected to the violation of plaintiff's
constitutional rights; and (5) what specific injury plaintiff
suffered because of that person's conduct. See Rizzo
v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976).
person named as a defendant was a supervisory official,
plaintiff must either state that the defendant personally
participated in the constitutional deprivation (and tell the
Court the five things listed above), or plaintiff must state,
if he can do so in good faith, that the defendant was aware
of the similar widespread abuses, but with deliberate
indifference to plaintiff's constitutional rights, failed
to take action to prevent further harm to plaintiff and also
state facts to support this claim. See Monell v. New York
City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691
must repeat this process for each person he names as a
defendant, including any “John Doe” and
“Jane Doe” defendants. If plaintiff fails to
affirmatively link the conduct of each named defendant with
the specific injury suffered by plaintiff, the claim against
that defendant will be dismissed for failure to state a
claim. Conclusory allegations that a defendant or a group of
defendants have violated a constitutional right are not
acceptable and will be dismissed.
amended complaint should be no longer than 20 pages.
Plaintiff should state all of his allegations relating to
each claim under separate headings and within those headings
should describe exactly what happened, who was involved, and
how their involvement caused him harm. If he fails to do so,
the Court will recommend dismissal of his complaint.
following paragraphs, some of the legal standards that
may apply to plaintiff's numerous claims are set
forth. Plaintiff should carefully review the standards and
amend only those claims that he believes, in good faith, are
Statute of Limitations
outset, the Court notes that many of plaintiff's claims
appear to be untimely and barred by the statute of
limitations. For example, in paragraph 54, plaintiff refers
to over a “thousand” grievances, many of which
occurred prior to November 21, 2013, which would not be
considered timely filed. In paragraphs 101 through 127,
plaintiff complains of conduct at the Washington State
Penitentiary that occurred between the years 1983 and 1985.
In paragraphs 128 through 161, plaintiff complains of conduct
that occurred between the years 1992 and 1998 at the Clallam
Bay Corrections Center. In paragraphs 162 through 170,
plaintiff complains that between the years 1986 and 2000,
“prison and DOC officials have abused his property
repeatedly and continuously that the total number of
constitutional violations are too numerous to
litigate.” In paragraphs 171 through 187, plaintiff
complains of conduct that occurred between the years 2000 and
2011 at the Washington State Reformatory. In paragraphs ...