United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES
JOHNSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Richard Callaway, proceeding without counsel filed a
Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
Defendants violated his rights under the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) 42 U.S.C. §
2000, et seq and the First and Fourteenth Amendments by
denying Odinist inmates exclusive use of a fire-pit.
(Complaint, Doc. 2.) The Complaint fails to state a federal
claim for relief and should be dismissed.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Callaway is a state prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and
without counsel. According to the Montana Department of
Corrections website, Mr. Callaway was paroled on February 6,
2019. Mr. Callaway has not filed a notice of change of
address as required by Local Rule 5.3.
Callaway names the following Defendants: Terrie Stefalo, Lynn
Guyer, Jim Salmonson, Demetric Godfrey, Cynthia Wolden,
Warden McTighe, and Chaplain Johnson. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at
Callaway alleges that since he has been incarcerated under
the jurisdiction of Montana State Prison he has not been
allowed to properly practice his religion. He claims he is an
Odinist and Defendants are substantially burdening his
religion by not providing an outdoor space and fire pit for
the exclusive use of Odinist inmates. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at
SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915,
Callaway 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).
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
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.
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 ...