Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Callaway v. Stefalo

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

May 21, 2019

RICHARD CALLAWAY, Plaintiffs,
v.
TERRIE STEFALO, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JOHN JOHNSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff 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.

         I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         A. Parties

         Mr. 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.

         Mr. Callaway names the following Defendants: Terrie Stefalo, Lynn Guyer, Jim Salmonson, Demetric Godfrey, Cynthia Wolden, Warden McTighe, and Chaplain Johnson. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 1-2.)

         B. Allegations

         Mr. 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 6.)

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

         A. Standard

         Mr. 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).

         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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.