United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND COMPLAINT
Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge.
Larry Darnell Dunomes, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges his constitutional
rights were violated when he was denied copies in the prison
law library. However, plaintiff has not alleged any actual
injury as a result of defendants' actions. Having
reviewed and screened plaintiff's complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court declines to serve
plaintiff's complaint because plaintiff has yet to plead
sufficient facts to demonstrate that defendants violated his
constitutional rights. However, the Court provides plaintiff
leave to file an amended pleading by June 20, 2019, to cure
the deficiencies identified herein.
who is currently housed at Clallam Bay Corrections Center
(“CBC””), alleges that on February 7, 2018,
defendant Ian Erickson, the CBCC law librarian, denied
plaintiff legal copies for “court purposes and for
personal recorded copy.” Dkt 6 at 3. Plaintiff alleges
that defendant Yvette Stubs, the CBCC legal liaison,
“did not try to resolve these issues.”
Id. Plaintiff alleges that “[a]t this very
present time it is impossible to receive copies here at
CBCC's law library without paying for them at that
requests monetary damages. Id. at 4.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(“PLRA”), 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 sufficiently allege that: (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). To satisfy the second step, a plaintiff must
allege facts showing how individually named defendants
caused, or personally participated in causing, the harm
alleged in the complaint. See Arnold v. IBM, 637
F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981).
complaint does not sufficiently allege these claims, which
will result in dismissal of his case if not corrected in an
Access to the Courts
contends that defendants violated his right to access to the
courts when plaintiff was denied access to copies free of
charge at the CBCC law library. Dkt. 6.
have a “fundamental constitutional right of access to
the courts.” Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817,
828 (1977). In Bounds, the Supreme Court held the
right of access imposes an affirmative duty on prison
officials to assist inmates in preparing and filing legal
papers, either by establishing an adequate law library or by
providing adequate assistance from persons trained in the
law. Id. at 828. In Lewis v. Casey, 518
U.S. 343 (1996), the Supreme Court held a prisoner must show
some actual injury resulting from a denial of access in order
to allege a constitutional violation. Id. at 349.
establish he suffered an actual injury, plaintiff must show
“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; Christopher v. Harbury, 536 U.S. 403,
415, (2002); Nevada Dep't of Corr. v. Greene,
648 F.3d 1014, 1018 (9th Cir. 2011); Phillips v.
Hurst, 588 F.3d 652, 655 (9th Cir. 2009). The right of
access to the courts is limited to non-frivolous direct
criminal appeals, habeas corpus proceedings, and § 1983
cases. See Lewis, 518 U.S. at 353 n. 3, 354-55.
“Failure to show that a ‘nonfrivolous legal claim
has been frustrated' is fatal to [an access to courts]
claim.” Alvarez v. Hill, 518 F.3d 1152, 1155
n. 1 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Lewis, 518 U.S. at 353
& n. 4).
has not alleged any actual injury in this complaint. There
are no allegations that plaintiff was denied access to the
courts in a non-frivolous direct criminal appeal, habeas
corpus proceeding, or § 1983 case, nor are there
allegations showing that plaintiff had a legal claim
frustrated by the actions of the named defendants. To succeed
on an access to the courts claim, plaintiff must allege in
more specific terms what type of claim he was ...