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Parent v. State, OCCC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 11, 2019

JEFFREY M. PARENT, #A6025710, Plaintiff,



         Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Jeffrey M. Parent's prisoner civil rights Complaint, Motion for Order Showing Need for Unrestricted Access to Courts; and Expansion for Law Library Sessions (Motion for Injunction), and Ex Parte Application Under Fed.R.Civ.P. LR 7.2(b)(d) (Ex Parte Application). See ECF Nos. 1, 4, 8. Parent seeks injunctive relief requiring the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) to schedule him for twelve to sixteen hours of law library sessions per week, and ensure that his legal mail is uncensored and treated as privileged correspondence.

         For the following reasons, Parent's Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend. Parent's Motion for Injunction and Ex Parte Application are DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Parent commenced this action on December 26, 2018, by filing a document titled “Ex Parte Motion” and “Civil Complaint, ” pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 1. As noted, the Complaint seeks an order compelling prison officials to provide Parent with at least twelve to sixteen hours per week in the law library and provide him unrestricted postage, paper, pens, envelopes, and copies for his legal documents. Parent says he was “advised that he must file a petition to invoke the courts recognition of Pro Se status, In Forma Paupris [sic] status.” Id., PageID #3. Parent suggests that, without these accommodations, he is or will be denied full access to the courts. Although the court granted Parent in forma pauperis status, it has not yet screened his Complaint as required under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a).

         On January 23, 2019, Parent filed the Motion for Injunction requesting the same relief as he seeks in his Complaint. Parent states that he is scheduled for law library sessions “at the standard set time of 3 hours per sessions, ” but complains that he is sometimes brought to the library thirty minutes late and removed fifteen minutes early. See Pl. Dec., ECF No. 5. Parent also complains that he cannot comply with the Local Rules for the District of Hawaii because he is not provided white, opaque paper and manila envelopes.

         On January 30, 2019, Parent filed his Ex Parte Application, requesting the same relief as his Complaint and Motion for Injunction. In this filing, however, Parent states that he is currently receiving “approx. 4-5 hours only” in the prison law library. Parent also attaches two envelopes to his Ex Parte Application, purportedly showing that the prison does not consider mail directed to the court and other government agencies, including the Hawaii Attorney General, Hawaii Paroling Authority, and the Office of the Ombudsman, as privileged. See Exs., ECF Nos. 8-3, 8-4.


         The court must conduct a pre-Answer screening of all prisoners' pleadings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Claims or complaints that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or seek damages from defendants who are immune from suit must be dismissed. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010).

         Screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a) involves the same standard of review as that used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012); Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 12(b)(6), 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) (internal quotation marks omitted). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. The “mere possibility of misconduct” or an “unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation” falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. at 678-79; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

         Pro se litigants' pleadings must be liberally construed and all doubts should be resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). The court must grant leave to amend if it appears the Parent can correct the defects in the complaint, Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130, but if a claim or complaint cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal with prejudice is appropriate. Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A., 729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).


         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). A plaintiff must also allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of a particular defendant's conduct and an affirmative link between the injury and the violation of his rights. See Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 692 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).

         A. Right of ...

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