United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN PART PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b)
DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is pro se Plaintiff De Witt Lamar Long’s
prisoner civil rights Complaint. Compl., Doc. No. 1. Long is
incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility
(“HCF”), but challenges events that occurred at
the Oahu Community Correctional Center (“OCCC”)
between July 3-10, 2014. Long names OCCC Correctional
Officers (“CO”) John Does 1-3, the Hawaii
Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) Director
Nolan P. Espinda, and OCCC Warden Michael Hoffman as
Defendants. Long alleges Defendants violated his rights under
the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
following reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED in part with
instructions to identify CO John Does 1-3 and leave granted
to amend those claims that are dismissed without prejudice.
a practicing Muslim. In 2014, OCCC and/or DPS prison
officials authorized Long to receive his morning meals before
sunrise during the month of Ramadan, which is an Islamic
religious holiday during which Muslims are encouraged to fast
between sunrise and sundown. On July 3, 2014, Long says he
awoke before sunrise and requested his morning meal. Compl.,
Doc. No. 1, PageID #7 (Count I). Long alleges CO John Doe 1
told him he would receive his morning meal at 6:30 a.m., when
the next shift arrived. Long explained that, if he was not
given his meal before the sun rose, he would be unable to eat
until after sunset, nearly twenty-four hours after his last
meal. CO John Doe 1 did not provide Long with a morning meal,
and Long submitted an informal grievance.
5, 2014, Long again requested an early morning meal before
sunrise. Id., PageID #8 (Count II). Long says he
explained to CO John Doe 2 that he was a practicing Muslim
and that his name was on a list circulated throughout OCCC
permitting early distribution of meals to those inmates
observing the Ramadan fast. Long alleges CO John Doe 2
nonetheless refused to provide him an early meal, stating
that he would receive a meal when the next shift came on
duty. Long went another twenty-four hours before being fed.
9, 2014, Long alleges that CO John Doe 3 refused to provide
him an early morning meal. Id., PageID #9 (Count
III). Long states that John Does 1-3 refused to identify
themselves. He alleges that CO John Does 1-3 violated the
First Amendment when they refused to accommodate his request
for an early meal during Ramadan.
about July 10, 2014, Long was transferred to the Federal
Detention Center-Honolulu (“FDC-Honolulu).
Id., PageID #10-11 (Counts IV &
Long alleges he was transferred because he filed grievances
regarding CO John Does 1-3’s alleged actions. Long
states that he was required to sign up for Ramadan again at
FDC-Honolulu, but he alleges no claims against any
FDC-Honolulu prison officials or regarding his incarceration
there. Long alleges, however, that the OCCC grievance
specialist informed him that his transfer to FDC-Honolulu
rendered his grievances at OCCC against CO John Does 1-3
moot. Long alleges this unidentified grievance specialist
told him he could no longer pursue his grievances while he
was confined at FDC-Honolulu. Long therefore alleges his
transfer to FDC-Honolulu was a ruse to impede the grievance
seeks compensatory damages and prospective injunctive relief
in the form of training for all OCCC staff regarding how to
properly accommodate Muslim inmates during Ramadan.
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).
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 does not require
detailed factual allegations, but “it 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 state a plausible claim, a
plaintiff must plead facts that allow “the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
a court must identify “the allegations in the complaint
that are not entitled to the assumption of truth, ”
that is, those allegations that are legal conclusions, bare
assertions, or merely conclusory. Id. at 679-80.
Second, the court must consider the factual allegations
“to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement
to relief.” Id. at 681. If the allegations
state a plausible claim for relief, the claim may proceed.
Id. at 680. Plausibility requires “more than a
sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Id. at 678 (internal quotation
marks omitted). The court is not required to
“‘assume the truth of legal conclusions merely
because they are cast in the form of factual
allegations.’” Fayer v. Vaughn, 649 F.3d
1061, 1064 (9th Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (quoting W.
Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir.
must “accept factual allegations in the complaint as
true and construe the pleadings in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party.” Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire
& Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir.
2008). “[C]onclusory allegations of law and unwarranted
inferences are insufficient.” Adams v.
Johnson, 355 F.3d 1179, 1183 (9th Cir. 2004); accord
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
to amend should be granted if it appears the plaintiff can
correct the defects in the complaint. Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). If
it is clear the complaint cannot be saved by amendment,
dismissal without leave to amend is appropriate. Syl ...