United States District Court, D. Nevada
RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
who is a prisoner in the custody of the Nevada Department of
Corrections (“NDOC”), has submitted a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
(ECF No. 1-1, 4.) The matter of the filing fee shall be
temporarily deferred. The Court now screens Plaintiff's
civil rights complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
courts must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must
identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that
are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings,
however, must be liberally construed. Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
1990). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States, and (2) that the alleged violation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.
See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
addition to the screening requirements under § 1915A,
pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), a
federal court must dismiss a prisoner's claim if
“the allegation of poverty is untrue” or if the
action “is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Dismissal of a
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted is provided for in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), and the court applies the same standard under
§ 1915 when reviewing the adequacy of a complaint or an
amended complaint. When a court dismisses a complaint under
§ 1915(e), the plaintiff should be given leave to amend
the complaint with directions as to curing its deficiencies,
unless it is clear from the face of the complaint that the
deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. See Cato v.
United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
under Rule 12(b)(6) is essentially a ruling on a question of
law. See Chappel v. Lab. Corp. of America, 232 F.3d
719, 723 (9th Cir. 2000). Dismissal for failure to state a
claim is proper only if it is clear that the plaintiff cannot
prove any set of facts in support of the claim that would
entitle him or her to relief. See Morley v. Walker,
175 F.3d 756, 759 (9th Cir. 1999). In making this
determination, the court takes as true all allegations of
material fact stated in the complaint, and the court
construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
See Warshaw v. Xoma Corp., 74 F.3d 955, 957 (9th
Cir. 1996). Allegations of a pro se complainant are
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5,
9 (1980). While the standard under Rule 12(b)(6) does not
require detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff must
provide more than mere labels and conclusions. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action is
a reviewing court should “begin by identifying
pleadings [allegations] that, because they are no more than
mere conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
(2009). “While legal conclusions can provide the
framework of a complaint, they must be supported with factual
allegations.” Id. “When there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their
veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief.” Id.
“Determining whether a complaint states a plausible
claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id.
all or part of a complaint filed by a prisoner may therefore
be dismissed sua sponte if the prisoner's claims
lack an arguable basis either in law or in fact. This
includes claims based on legal conclusions that are untenable
(e.g., claims against defendants who are immune from suit or
claims of infringement of a legal interest which clearly does
not exist), as well as claims based on fanciful factual
allegations (e.g., fantastic or delusional scenarios).
See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28
(1989); see also McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795,
798 (9th Cir. 1991).
SCREENING OF COMPLAINT
Complaint, Plaintiff sues multiple defendants for events that
took place while he was incarcerated at Three Lakes Valley
Conservation Camp (“TLVCC”). (ECF No. 1-1 at 1).
Plaintiff sues Clark County School District
(“CCSD”), President of CCSD Deanna L. Wright,
CCSD teacher Ms. Habermass, CCSD principal Ms. Froby, and
NDOC director James Dzurenda. (Id. at 2-3). He
alleges three counts and seeks injunctive relief and monetary
damages. (Id. at 6, 9.)
Complaint alleges the following: Plaintiff was falsely
accused of wrongful conduct and expelled from an adult
education class. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff complained
through the NDOC grievance system. (Id.) The NDOC
made the decision that he was guilty with no investigation,
hearing, or trial and no opportunity to call witnesses and
present evidence. (Id.) Plaintiff's prison file
was flagged and he had his bed moved and was suspended from
further educational classes. (Id.) He was labeled a
disruptive student, which could affect his possibility for
parole and his classification. (Id.) Both the CCSD
and the NDOC pointed to the other as having jurisdiction to
determine Plaintiff's guilt. (Id. at 5).
Plaintiff did not have the opportunity to confront the
witnesses against him. (Id. at 6).
alleges that this conduct denied him his Fourteenth Amendment
right to due process, denied him his First Amendment right to
access to the courts, and denied him his Sixth Amendment
right to confront witnesses. (Id.)
Sixth Amendment - Confrontation Clause
Sixth Amendment right of confrontation applies only to
criminal prosecutions. United States v. Hall, 419
F.3d 980, 985-86 (9th Cir. 2005). Therefore, it does not
apply to Plaintiff's allegations and Plaintiff does not
state a colorable Sixth Amendment ...