United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
Robert Dean Griffin, Jr., proceeding pro se, filed
this civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Having reviewed and screened
Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the
Court finds Plaintiff has failed to state a claim but
provides Plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by
February 21, 2018, to cure the deficiencies identified
who is housed at the Washington State Penitentiary, alleges
his constitutional rights were violated when Defendant Ronald
Frederick told Plaintiff the Indeterminate Sentencing Review
Board (“ISRB”) did not have jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's treatment in prison and instructed Plaintiff
to address his concerns through the offender grievance
program. Dkt. 1, p. 7. Plaintiff states ISRB decisions cannot
be grieved. Id.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is
required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152
F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must show: (1) he suffered a violation of
rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (2) the violation was proximately caused by a
person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The first
step in a § 1983 claim is therefore to identify the
specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
satisfy the second prong, a plaintiff must allege facts
showing how individually named defendants caused, or
personally participated in causing, the harm alleged in the
complaint. See Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633
(9th Cir. 1988); Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355
(9th Cir. 1981). A person subjects another to a deprivation
of a constitutional right when committing an affirmative act,
participating in another's affirmative act, or omitting
to perform an act which is legally required. Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Sweeping
conclusory allegations against an official are insufficient
to state a claim for relief. Leer, 844 F.2d at 633.
Further, a § 1983 suit cannot be based on vicarious
liability alone, but must allege the defendant's own
conduct violated the plaintiff's civil rights. City
of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385-90 (1989).
Plaintiff names Defendant Frederick as the sole defendant in
this action. See Dkt. 1. Plaintiff fails to state
Defendant Frederick's alleged wrong-doing. He fails to
provide detailed information regarding what constitutional
violations were allegedly violated and Defendant
Frederick's involvement in the denial of constitutional
rights. Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to adequately explain
what actions or inactions by Defendant Frederick resulted the
alleged constitutional violations. Plaintiff's vague and
conclusory allegations are insufficient to show Defendant
Frederick personally participated in an alleged
constitutional violation. See Jones v. Community
Development Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984)
(vague and mere conclusory allegations unsupported by facts
are not sufficient to state section 1983 claims).
Court notes, at most, Plaintiff appears to allege Defendant
Frederick violated his constitutional rights by telling
Plaintiff to address his concerns regarding his treatment in
prison through the offender grievance program. Id.
Plaintiff claims he could not grieve the ISRB decision.
Id. Under Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850,
860 (9th Cir. 2003), Plaintiff has no constitutional right to
a prison grievance system. See Riley v. Roach, 572
Fed.Appx. 504, 507 (9th Cir. 2014) (“Inmates do not
possess a constitutional right to a prison grievance
system.”). Because an inmate does not have a
constitutional right to a grievance process, an allegation of
a denial of access to the grievance process fails to state a
claim. Ramirez, 334 at 860. As it appears Plaintiff
is only alleging that Defendant Frederick misinformed him
about his abilities to grieve the ISRB decision, Plaintiff
has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Plaintiff wishes to pursue this § 1983 action, he must
provide a short, plain statement explaining exactly what
Defendant Frederick did or failed to do and how the actions
violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights and caused him
Instruction to Plaintiff and the Clerk
Plaintiff intends to pursue a § 1983 civil rights action
in this Court, he must file an amended complaint and within
the amended complaint, he must write a short, plain statement
telling the Court: (1) the constitutional right Plaintiff
believes was violated; (2) the name of the person who
violated the right; (3) exactly what the individual did or
failed to do; (4) how the action or inaction of the
individual is connected to the violation of Plaintiff's
constitutional rights; and (5) what specific injury Plaintiff
suffered because of the individual's conduct. See
Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976). Each
claim for relief must be simple, concise, and direct.
shall present the amended complaint on the form provided by
the Court. The amended complaint must be legibly rewritten or
retyped in its entirety, it should be an original and not a
copy, it should contain the same case number, and it may not
incorporate any part of the original complaint by reference.
The amended complaint will act as a complete substitute for
the original Complaint, and not as a supplement. The Court
will screen the amended complaint ...