United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
A. TSUCHIDA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
April 11, 2018, Akiel Taylor, a pro-se prisoner at
the King County Jail, submitted a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
complaint against defendants La Toya Durham, Jail
Administrative Services Specialist; C/O Allen, Captain
Pierson, and Sergeant Sellers. Dkt. 1, 5. The Court declined
to serve the complaint because it was deficient and granted
Mr. Taylor leave to file an amended complaint by May 14,
2018. Dkt. 11. The Court advised Mr. Taylor that if he did
not file an amended complaint or cure its deficiencies by
that date, the Court would recommend the case be dismissed
with prejudice. Because Mr. Taylor has not responded, the
Court recommends the case be dismissed with prejudice.
Taylor's complaint alleges defendant Durham denied him
access to legal materials including a
“workstation.” Dkt. 5 at 3. He further alleges
Captain Pierson controls the movement of sergent Sellers and
C/O Allen and others here at the King County Jail July 1 2016
I had to get a continuance by the judge and won't to let
me prepare and because I couldn't file the right motion
and have my discovery this is why we have this problem.
Id. at 3. As relief, Mr. Taylor seeks
“compensatory and punitive damages and a different
judge.” Id. at 4.
obtain relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Mr. Taylor must
establish (1) his federal constitutional or statutory rights
were violated, and (2) that the violation was proximately
caused by a person acting under color of state or federal
law. See Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th
Cir. 1991). Mr. Taylor must thus identify the specific
constitutional right allegedly infringed. Albright v.
Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). He must also allege
facts showing how each individually named defendant caused,
or personally participated in causing, the harm alleged in
the complaint. See Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350,
1355 (9th Cir. 1981).
Library Access Claim
is no freestanding constitutional right to law library access
for prisoners; law library access serves as one means of
ensuring the constitutional right of access to the courts.
See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 350-51 (1996).
“[T]he Constitution does not guarantee a prisoner
unlimited access to a law library. Prison officials of
necessity must regulate the time, manner, and place in which
library facilities are used.” Linquist v. Idaho
State Bd. of Corrections, 776 F.2d 851, 858 (9th Cir.
1985). A prisoner claiming his right of access to the courts
has been violated due to blocked access to the law library or
legal materials must show that: 1) access was so limited as
to be unreasonable, and 2) the inadequate access caused
actual injury. Vandelft v. Moses, 31 F.3d 794, 797
(9th Cir. 1994).
prisoner cannot make conclusory declarations of injury, but
instead must demonstrate that a non-frivolous legal claim has
been frustrated or impeded. To prevail, however, it is not
enough for an inmate to show some sort of denial. An
“actual injury” is “actual prejudice with
respect to contemplated or existing litigation, such as the
inability to meet a filing deadline or to present a
claim.” Lewis, 518 U.S. at 348.
[T]he inmate . . . must go one step further and demonstrate
that the alleged shortcomings in the library or legal
assistance program hindered his efforts to pursue a legal
claim. He might show, for example, that a complaint he
prepared was dismissed for failure to satisfy some technical
requirement which, because of deficiencies in the
prison's legal assistance facilities, he could not have
known. Or that he suffered arguably actionable harm that he
wished to bring before the courts, but was so stymied by
inadequacies of the law library that he was unable even to
file a complaint.
Id. at 351. Here, the complaint hints at but fails
to demonstrate Mr. Taylor's access to legal materials was
unreasonably limited or that he has been actually prejudiced
by the restrictions.
the claim should be dismissed.