(PC) Bland v. Brown, et al., No. 1:2018cv01358 - Document 14 (E.D. Cal. 2019)

Court Description: Screening Order; FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS to Dismiss Case for Failure to State Claim, signed by Magistrate Judge Jeremy D. Peterson on 4/18/19. Objections to F&R Due Within 14 Days. New case number - 1:18-cv-01358-AWI-JDP (PC). (Marrujo, C)
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JOSHUA DAVIS BLAND, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 v. JERRY BROWN, et al., 15 Defendants. Case No. 1:18-cv-01358-JDP SCREENING ORDER FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS CASE FOR FAILURE TO STATE CLAIM ECF No. 1 OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN 14 DAYS 16 17 ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ASSIGN CASE TO DISTRICT JUDGE 18 19 20 Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in this civil rights action brought 21 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff’s complaint, filed October 2, 2018, ECF No. 1, is before the 22 court for screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Plaintiff alleges that the he has been “[u]nlawfully 23 incarcerated for the past 20 years” because he is “one of the private American people [and] thus 24 not [subject] to their state’s statutes, codes, regulations, etc.” ECF No. 1 at 5, 7. Plaintiff’s 25 complaint is frivolous. Therefore, we recommend that plaintiff’s claims be dismissed with 26 prejudice. 27 28 1 1 I. SCREENING AND PLEADING REQUIREMENTS 2 A district court must screen a prisoner’s complaint that seeks relief against a governmental 3 entity, its officer, or its employee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must identify any 4 cognizable claims and dismiss any portion of the complaint that is frivolous or malicious, fails to 5 state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is 6 immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). 7 A complaint must contain a short and plain statement that plaintiff is entitled to relief, 8 Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), and provide “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its 9 face,” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The plausibility standard does not 10 require detailed allegations, but legal conclusions do not suffice. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 11 662, 678 (2009). If the allegations “do not permit the court to infer more than the mere 12 possibility of misconduct,” the complaint states no claim. Id. at 679. The complaint need not 13 identify “a precise legal theory.” Kobold v. Good Samaritan Reg’l Med. Ctr., 832 F.3d 1024, 14 1038 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 530 (2011)). Instead, what 15 plaintiff must state is a “claim”—a set of “allegations that give rise to an enforceable right to 16 relief.” Nagrampa v. MailCoups, Inc., 469 F.3d 1257, 1264 n.2 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc) 17 (citations omitted). 18 The court must construe a pro se litigant’s complaint liberally. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 19 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam). However, the court may dismiss a pro se litigant’s complaint 20 “if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim 21 which would entitle him to relief.” Hayes v. Idaho Corr. Ctr., 849 F.3d 1204, 1208 (9th Cir. 22 2017) (quoting Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014)). 23 II. THE COMPLAINT 24 Plaintiff is a California state prisoner. ECF No. 1 at 1. He names four defendants: Jerry 25 Brown, the former governor of California; Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California; the 26 County of Fresno Superior Court; and the County of San Diego Superior Court. Id. at 2. 27 Plaintiff alleges that he is “one of the private American people [and] thus not [subject] to their 28 state’s statutes, codes, regulations, etc.” Id. at 7. Plaintiff argues, in essence, that because he is a 2 1 “private citizen,” he is not subject to the control of the government or its laws. See id. 8-11. He 2 seeks damages, declaratory relief, and to be released from prison. Id. at 7. 3 III. DISCUSSION 4 Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim because his allegations are implausible. See 5 Iqbal, 556 U.S. 678-79. Amendment to his complaint would be futile because plaintiff’s 6 theory—that the laws do not apply to him—is frivolous. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 7 325 (1989) (“[A] complaint, containing as it does both factual allegations and legal conclusions, 8 is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.”). Furthermore, to the extent 9 that plaintiff seeks to challenge his state conviction and obtain release from prison, that action 10 would have to be brought through a timely habeas petition. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 11 486-87 (1994). 12 IV. 13 The clerk of court is directed to assign this case to a district judge, who will preside over 14 ORDER this case. The undersigned will remain as the magistrate judge assigned to the case. 15 IV. RECOMMENDATION 16 We recommend that plaintiff’s complaint, ECF No. 1, be dismissed with prejudice for 17 failure to state a claim for relief. The undersigned submits the findings and recommendations to 18 the district judge presiding over this case under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the 19 Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Within 20 fourteen days of the service of the findings and recommendations, plaintiff may file written 21 objections to the findings and recommendations with the court. That document should be 22 captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” The district judge 23 will review the findings and recommendations under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Plaintiff’s failure 24 to file objections within the specified time may result in the waiver of rights on appeal. See 25 Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 839 (9th Cir. 2014). 26 27 28 3 1 2 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: 5 April 18, 2019 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 6 7 8 No. 203 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4