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Mitchell v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 29, 2014

TARZ MITCHELL, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

ANDREW P. GORDON, District Judge.

This pro se prisoner civil rights action by a Nevada state inmate comes before the Court for initial review of the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Court defers action on the pauper application at this time.

Screening Standard

When a "prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, " the court must "identify cognizable claims or 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." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

In considering whether the plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted, all material factual allegations in the complaint are accepted as true for purposes of initial review and are to be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See, e.g., Russell v. Landrieu, 621 F.2d 1037, 1039 (9th Cir. 1980). However, mere legal conclusions unsupported by any actual allegations of fact are not assumed to be true in reviewing the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-81 (2009). That is, conclusory assertions that constitute merely formulaic recitations of the elements of a cause of action and that are devoid of further factual enhancement are not accepted as true and do not state a claim for relief. Id.

Further, the factual allegations must state a plausible claim for relief, meaning that the well-pleaded facts must permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct:

[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [ Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).] A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id., at 556.... The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement, " but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Ibid. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id., at 557... (brackets omitted).
... [W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not "show[n]" - "that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(a)(2).

Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

Allegations of a pro se complainant are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).

Discussion

Plaintiff Tarz Mitchell seeks to present claims for damages and injunctive relief against an uncertain number of state corrections department employees in their individual and official capacity.[1]

In Count I, plaintiff alleges that he was denied rights under, inter alia, the First Amendment as well as the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. He alleges that he was retaliated against for filing grievances and civil suits. He alleges that certain officials engaged in a retaliatory campaign where a false notice of charges was filed, he was placed in administrative segregation for 33 days, and he then was transferred to a maximum security prison after the charges were dismissed. Plaintiff alleges therein:

Because the Plaintiff was thrown in the hole [administrative segregation] and retaliated against Plaintiff lost his job and wages, days of work credits which is a liberty interest as the loss of ...

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