(PS)Blank et al v. Tehama County Library, No. 2:2017cv00919 - Document 4 (E.D. Cal. 2018)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison on 7/30/2018 RECOMMENDING that this action be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Referred to District Judge John A. Mendez. Objections due within 14 days after being served with these findings and recommendations. (York, M)
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(PS)Blank et al v. Tehama County Library Doc. 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 PAUL LOUIS BLANK, et al., 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 No. 2:17-CV-0919-JAM-CMK Plaintiffs, vs. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TEHAMA COUNTY LIBRARY, Defendant. / Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, brings this civil action. Pending before the court is plaintiff’s complaint (Doc. 1). The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief 20 against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. 21 § 1915A(a). The court is also required to screen complaints brought by litigants who have been 22 granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Under these screening 23 provisions, the court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or 24 malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief 25 from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(A), (B) and 26 1915A(b)(1), (2). Moreover, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3), this court 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 must dismiss an action if the court determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Because 2 plaintiff, who is not a prisoner, has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the court 3 will screen the complaint pursuant to § 1915(e)(2). Pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3), the court will also 4 consider as a threshold matter whether it has subject-matter jurisdiction. 5 In this case, plaintiff names the following as defendant: Tehama County Library. 6 Plaintiff alleges that this court has jurisdiction because the case “is Constitution Civil Right 7 Complaint and American with Disabilities Act Employment Law Violation.” For the reasons 8 discussed below, the court finds that plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be 9 granted. 10 Municipalities and other local government units are among those “persons” to 11 whom liability applies in a civil rights action. See Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 12 690 (1978). Counties and municipal government officials are also “persons” for purposes of § 13 1983. See id. at 691; see also Thompson v. City of Los Angeles, 885 F.2d 1439, 1443 (9th Cir. 14 1989). A local government unit, however, may not be held responsible for the acts of its 15 employees or officials under a respondeat superior theory of liability. See Bd. of County 16 Comm’rs v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 403 (1997). Thus, municipal liability must rest on the actions 17 of the municipality, and not of the actions of its employees or officers. See id. To assert 18 municipal liability, therefore, the plaintiff must allege that the constitutional deprivation 19 complained of resulted from a policy or custom of the municipality. See id. 20 Plaintiff names as the only defendant the Tehama County Library, which is a unit 21 of Tehama County, a local government. Plaintiff does not, however, allege any improper custom 22 or policy enacted by either Tehama County or the Tehama County Library. Plaintiff merely 23 alleges that he was denied a new library card because the library’s database listed plaintiff as 24 “restricted status.” Plaintiff does not allege that this designation resulted from any improper 25 policy or custom. 26 /// 2 1 Because it does not appear possible that the deficiencies identified herein can be 2 cured by amending the complaint, plaintiff is not entitled to leave to amend prior to dismissal of 3 the entire action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). 4 5 Based on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that this action be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. 6 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District 7 Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within 14 days 8 after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 9 objections with the court. Responses to objections shall be filed within 14 days after service of 10 objections. Failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal. 11 See Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 12 13 14 15 DATED: July 30, 2018 ______________________________________ CRAIG M. KELLISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 3