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Rivadeneira v. Department of Homeland Security

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia

April 3, 2018

DR. FELIX GUZMAN RIVADENEIRA, on behalf of the thousands of federal detainees and their families here in the
v.
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (D.H.S.), DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (I.C.E.), UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, CHIEF OPERATOR OF THE DETENTION OPERATION MANUAL, ALL THE WARDENS OF THE JAIL AND DETENTION CENTERS, contracted by ICE, ALL THE SERVICE PROCESSING CENTERS (SPCs), ALL THE CONTRACT DETENTION FACILITIES (CDFs), and ALL THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL SERVICE AGREEMENT FACILITIES (IGSA), Defendants.

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION [1]

          Dwane L. Tinsley United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is assigned to the Honorable Irene C. Berger, United States District Judge, and it is referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for submission of proposed findings and a recommendation for disposition, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). This matter is pending before the undersigned for initial screening of the Complaint (ECF No. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court is obliged to screen each case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, and must dismiss the case if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(a) and (b).

         Pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than those drafted by attorneys, and the court is obliged to construe liberally such complaints. However, in Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), the Supreme Court observed that a case should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if, viewing the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as true and in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the complaint does not contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” While the complaint need not assert “detailed factual allegations, ” it must contain “more than labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Id. at 555.

         The Supreme Court elaborated on its holding in Twombly in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009), a civil rights case. The Court wrote:

Two working principles underlie our decision in Twombly. First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice. [Twombly, 550 U.S.] at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (Although for the purposes of a motion to dismiss we must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, we “are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation” (internal quotation marks omitted). Rule 8 . . . does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. Id., at 556.
In keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.

129 S.Ct. at 1949-50.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 12, 2015, the plaintiff filed the instant Complaint while incarcerated in the McHenry County Jail in Woodstock, Illinois.[2] The Complaint states that the plaintiff is suing on “behalf of the thousands of detainees and their families” who are suffering “abuse, prejudice and discrimination, which include denial of meaningful access to DHS-supported programs, activities and services due to limited English proficiency” as a result of “fraud, corruption, mismanagement and misconduct produced by all the entities mentioned in my lawsuit.” (ECF No. 1 at 3). Thereafter, the plaintiff summarily asserts violations of the Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments based upon general conditions of confinement in correctional and detention facilities. (Id. at 3-4).

         Without any specific facts to support his claims, the plaintiff alleges that he and other detainees have been: denied basic human needs and subjected to cruel and unusual punishment; subjected to deliberate indifference to medical needs; subject to malicious and sadistic uses of force; incarcerated in punitive and unconstitutional conditions; subjected to overcrowding, widely abused punitive disciplinary procedures, and physical, sexual, and verbal abuse that is often discriminatory in nature; subjected to inadequate access to a meaningful grievance procedure and religious freedom; and subjected to physical and mental harm because of the lack of oversight by Defendants D.H.S., I.C.E., and the other Defendant entities. In his request for relief, the plaintiff seeks the creation of a new law called “T.O.D.O.S.” (The Other Detainee Offer Status) and immigration detention standards that comply with human rights principles, greater government transparency, effective national oversight, and two hundred and ten billion dollars. It appears that the plaintiff has filed similar complaints in numerous district courts across the United States.[3]

         ANALYSIS

         This matter is dismissible on a number of grounds. First, the Complaint herein contains conclusory allegations and fails to state any plausible claim against any specific defendant. Second, the plaintiff has frivolously filed this litigation in multiple jurisdictions. Additionally, the allegations in the Complaint have no apparent nexus to the Southern District of West Virginia; accordingly, this is not an appropriate venue. Finally, because the plaintiff has not kept the court advised ...


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