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Ross v. Franke

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 4, 2018

JAMES ARTHUR ROSS, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVE FRANKE, Eastside Inst. Admin., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER TO DISMISS

          Michael H. Simon, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution ("TRCI"), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to an Order entered by this date, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However, for the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs Complaint is dismissed.

         BACKGROUND

         In the caption of his Complaint, Plaintiff identifies only Defendant Steve Franke. In the section of his Complaint titled "Parties, " however, Plaintiff identifies as additional Defendants John Myrick, S. Martin, R. Shaffer, M. Wilson, and L. Brown.

         Plaintiffs Complaint alleges two claims for relief. In the first claim, Plaintiff alleges that he requested an indigent envelope to mail a supplemental pro se brief to his attorney for filing with the Oregon Court of Appeals. Plaintiff alleges law library coordinators S. Martin and R. Shaffer refused to give Plaintiff an envelope, stating that indigent envelopes were not allowed for general correspondence with attorneys. Plaintiff grieved the incident, and was ultimately found to be correct in his assertion that he should have received the indigent envelope to mail his supplemental pro se brief to his attorney. Plaintiff alleges that his attorney obtained an extension of time, and that he was ultimately successful in filing his brief. Plaintiff alleges he has also been denied indigent envelopes for mail addressed to the attorney general, but Plaintiff does not describe the type of mail he was prevented from sending.

         In Plaintiffs second claim, he alleges that the law library and inmate legal assistants at TRCI are insufficient. Plaintiff also complains that he cannot access old legal documents stored on a thumb drive, and must use a typewriter to prepare new legal documents. Plaintiff does not allege he has suffered any injury as a result of the alleged insufficiencies.

         By way of remedy, Plaintiff seeks money damages and injunctive relief requiring that inmates be allowed indigent envelopes to correspond with their attorneys, and requiring that TRCI's law library and inmate legal assistant program be upgraded.

         STANDARDS

         A district court must dismiss an action initiated by a plaintiff proceeding in forma pauper is if the court determines that the action (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In order to state a claim, a plaintiff must allege facts which, when accepted as true, give rise to a plausible inference that the defendants violated the plaintiffs rights. Ashcroftv. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556-57 (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." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotations omitted).

         When a plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the court construes the pleadings liberally and affords the plaintiff the benefit of any doubt. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Apro se plaintiff will be given leave to amend his or her complaint unless it is clear that the deficiencies of the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1112, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Procedural Deficiency

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(a), "[t]he title of a complaint must name all the parties." As to all other pleadings, the title, "after naming the first party on each side, may refer generally to other parties." Id. As noted, Plaintiff does not name all of the Defendants in the title of his Complaint. As such, Plaintiffs Complaint does not comply with Rule 10.

         II. ...


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