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Davis v. Mark D.

United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division

May 21, 2019

RORY SHANE DAVIS, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
UNIT SUPERVISOR MARK D. and DONNA BENSON, Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OFUNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JOHN JOHNSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Rory Davis filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging Defendants violated the anonymity law and HIPPA by listing his name on a wall at the Connections Corrections Program (CCP) treatment program. (Doc. 2.) The Complaint fails to state a federal claim for relief and should be dismissed.

         I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         A. Parties

         Mr. Davis is a former state prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and without counsel. He names Unit Supervisor Mark D and Donna Benson, employees of CCP as Defendants. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 4-5.)

         B. Allegations

         Mr. Davis alleges that Defendant Mark D asked him to put a list of “Rough Riders” names on a wall at the CCP treatment program on August 1, 2018. Mr. Davis objected to his name being put on the wall. Thereafter, on August 16, 2018 his parole was rescinded for failure to complete CCP. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 6.)

         II. SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A

         A. Standard

         Mr. Davis is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court must review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require the Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or by a prisoner against a governmental defendant if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. A complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A case is malicious if it was filed with the intention or desire to harm another.” Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the “grounds” of his “entitlement to relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted).

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). That is, a complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). A complaint's allegations must cross “the line from conceivable to plausible.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 680.

         There is a two-step procedure to determine whether a complaint's allegations cross that line. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662. First, the Court must identify “the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if they are “merely consistent with liability, ” or “amount to nothing more than a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements' of a constitutional” claim. Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops short of the line between probability and the possibility of relief where the facts pled are merely consistent with a defendant's liability. Id. at 678.

         Second, the Court must determine whether the complaint states a “plausible” claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. A claim is “plausible” if the factual allegations, which are accepted as true, “allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678. This inquiry is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679 (citation omitted). If the factual allegations, which are accepted as true, “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.'” Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

         “A document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Erickson v. Pardu, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); cf. Fed. Rule ...


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