United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(E)(2) AND 1915(A)(B)(1) §§ 1915
Leslie E. Kobayashi United States District Judge.
Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Henry Lagmay’s prisoner civil rights complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 & 1985. Doc. No. 1. Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”) and has paid the civil filing fee for this action. Plaintiff names eleven Hawaii Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) or HCF employees and officials as defendants to this suit. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants denied him access to the court, due process, and equal protection in violation of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
Plaintiff’s Complaint is DISMISSED as set forth below, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1), for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint on or before [INSERT DATE].
A. Plaintiff’s Claims
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants conspired to deny him access to the courts, which resulted in the dismissal with prejudice of his civil proceedings in In re: Henry Lagmay, Civ. No. 15-00166 DKW/RLP, 2015 WL 5970667 (D. Haw. Oct. 13, 2015). Plaintiff alleges this constitutes an actual injury to his access to the court.
During the course of his litigation in In re: Henry Lagmay, Plaintiff alleges Defendants ignored or denied his requests to attend the law library while other inmates in different housing pods were allowed to attend. Plaintiff states that this prevented him from making copies of his documents, and thus, amending his pleading in In re: Henry Lagmay, as ordered by the court. Plaintiff alleges that all Defendants were made aware of this alleged denial of access to the court through his formal and informal grievances, which he alleges were often unanswered. He further alleges that Defendants’ actions were discriminatory and violated his rights to due process. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
B. In re: Henry Lagmay, Civ. No. 15-00166 DKW/RLP.
Plaintiff filed In re: Henry Lagmay on May 6, 2015. See Civ. No. 15-00166 DKW, Compl., Doc. No. 1. The pleading was unsigned and nearly incoherent. It vaguely alleged a vast conspiracy against him among Mainland and Hawaii prison officials, inmates, his criminal defense attorney, state legislators, the Hawaii Attorney General’s and Prosecutor’s Offices, and others between 2003 and 2009, ostensibly because he was or is a confidential informant. On May 15, 2015, the court dismissed the complaint with leave to amend, for Plaintiff’s failure to state a cognizable claim or comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id., Order, Doc. No. 4. Plaintiff was notified that he could voluntarily dismiss the action without payment or penalty if he was not prepared to proceed and was told that he must sign any amended pleading or other document that he submitted to the court. Id., PageID #13.
Plaintiff immediately began filing extraneous motions, letters, notices, exhibits, and documents that generally made little sense and were non-responsive to the court’s directions and order. See Doc. Nos. 5, 6, 9-12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22-33. The court reviewed each filing, granted Plaintiff several extensions of time to comply with its order to amend the pleadings, sent him court forms and copies of rules, explained that a failure to file a signed amended complaint would result in dismissal of his action, and answered his daily telephone calls and questions.
While Plaintiff continued to file non-responsive documents, he also claimed that prison officials were denying him attendance at the law library and photocopies, which he alleged was delaying his ability to file an amended pleading. See Doc. Nos. 36-39.
After carefully reviewing the record and Plaintiff’s submissions, the court found that Plaintiff had, in fact, attended the law library and clearly had the ability to copy his pleadings and documents by photocopy requests or by hand. See Order, Doc. No. 40, PageID #223. Plaintiff’s grievances, submitted as evidence that he was being denied law library time, actually showed that he had consistently failed to timely submit his requests for attendance, was told several times how and when to submit law library scheduling requests for the following week, and had attended the law library on occasions when he correctly submitted a request. See id., PageID #223-24. The court found that Plaintiff was not complying with prison procedures and had not been denied access to the court. Id. Plaintiff continued to submit letters and motions. Id., Doc. Nos. 41, 42, 44, 45.
On September 21, 2015, the court finally dismissed In re: Henry Lagmay with prejudice for Plaintiff’s willful failure to prosecute or comply with the court’s instructions and orders. See Dismissal Order, Doc. No. 46. Plaintiff filed four additional documents, including a motion for reconsideration and a notice of appeal. Doc. Nos. 48-52. The court denied reconsideration, Doc. No. 53, and the case is now on appeal. See Ninth Cir. App. No. 15-17068.
Plaintiff continues to submit documents and memoranda in In re: Henry Lagmay, see Doc. Nos. 48-51, 57, 58, 65, and he recently moved in the instant case for an order requiring the prison to allow him to telephone the appellate court. See Civ. No. 15-00463 LEK, Doc. No. 14. Plaintiff has never submitted a signed, amended complaint in Civ. No. 15-00166 DKW.
The court must screen all civil actions brought by prisoners proceeding in forma pauperis or seeking redress from a government entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(a). Complaints or claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or seek relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1).
A complaint that lacks a cognizable legal theory or alleges insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory fails to state a claim. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim, a pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This “demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). To ...