Condee v. Castillo et al

Filing 10

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 2/12/2015. First Amended Complaint due within thirty (30) days. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Complaint Form). (Jessen, A)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 2 3 4 5 6 7 Plaintiff, 8 9 10 Case No. 1:14 cv 01072 AWI GSA PC CHRISTOPHER CONDEE, ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT vs. C/O CASTILLO, et al., Defendants 11 AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE IN THIRTY DAYS 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 I. Screening Requirement Plaintiff is prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 19 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). 20 The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are 21 legally “frivolous or malicious,” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or 22 that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 23 § 1915A(b)(1),(2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been 24 paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or 25 appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 26 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 27 28 1 1 2 “Rule 8(a)‟s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions,” none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 3 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain “a 4 short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . .” Fed. R. 5 Civ. P. 8(a). “Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff‟s 6 claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, “the 7 liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff‟s factual allegations.” Neitze v. Williams, 8 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). “[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not 9 supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.” Bruns v. Nat‟l Credit Union 10 11 12 Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)). II. Plaintiff’s Claims 13 Plaintiff, an inmate currently in custody at the Los Angeles County Jail, brings this civil 14 rights action against correction officials employed by the California Department of Corrections 15 and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at CSP Corcoran. Plaintiff names as Defendants the following 16 individuals: Correctional Officer (C/O) Castillo; C/O Aronea and Sergeant Garcia. Plaintiff‟s 17 statement of claim, in its entirety, follows: 18 On several occasions I was subjected to physical harm for failing to provide confidential information to correction staff (see Exhibit A). I was denied food, subjected to assault, pepper spray, I was threatened by C/O Castillo and Sergeant Garcia knew and did nothing to stop the abuse. I am an inmate/patient at EOP level of care. 19 20 21 22 (Comp. ¶ IV.) 23 Here, the Court finds Plaintiff‟s allegations to be vague. Plaintiff sets forth generalized 24 allegations regarding the conditions of his confinement, and names 3 individual defendants. To 25 state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant acted under color 26 of state law and (2) the defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal 27 law. Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006). “A person deprives 28 2 1 2 another of a constitutional right, where that person „does an affirmative act, participates in another‟s affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which [that person] is legally required to do 3 that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made.‟” Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 988 4 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)). “[T]he „requisite 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 causal connection can be established not only by some kind of direct, personal participation in the deprivation, but also by setting in motion a series of acts by others which the actor knows or reasonably should know would cause others to inflict the constitutional injury.‟” Id. (quoting Johnson at 743-44). Plaintiff has not specifically charged each defendant with conduct indicating that they knew of and disregarded a serious risk to Plaintiff‟s safety, resulting in injury to Plaintiff. Plaintiff may not hold defendants liable simply by alleging that he was subjected to a risk of harm or that he suffered injury. Plaintiff must allege facts indicating that each 12 defendant was aware of a specific harm to Plaintiff, and acted with deliberate indifference to that 13 harm. Plaintiff has failed to do so here. The complaint should therefore be dismissed. Plaintiff 14 will, however, be granted leave to file an amended complaint. 15 Plaintiff need not, however, set forth legal arguments in support of his claims. In order to 16 hold an individual defendant liable, Plaintiff must name the individual defendant, describe where 17 that defendant is employed and in what capacity, and explain how that defendant acted under 18 color of state law. Plaintiff should state clearly, in his own words, what happened. Plaintiff 19 must describe what each defendant, by name, did to violate the particular right described by 20 Plaintiff. Plaintiff has failed to do so here. 21 III. 22 Conclusion and Order The Court has screened Plaintiff‟s complaint and finds that it does not state any claims 23 upon which relief may be granted under section 1983. The Court will provide Plaintiff with the 24 opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies identified by the Court in this 25 order. Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448-49 (9th Cir. 1987). Plaintiff is cautioned that he 26 may not change the nature of this suit by adding new, unrelated claims in his amended 27 complaint. George, 507 F.3d at 607 (no “buckshot” complaints). 28 3 1 2 Plaintiff‟s amended complaint should be brief, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), but must state what each named defendant did that led to the deprivation of Plaintiff‟s constitutional or other federal 3 rights, Hydrick, 500 F.3d at 987-88. Although accepted as true, the “[f]actual allegations must 4 be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. 5 6 7 Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554 (2007) (citations omitted). Finally, Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint supercedes the original complaint, Forsyth v. Humana, Inc., 114 F.3d 1467, 1474 (9th Cir. 1997); King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 8 567 (9th Cir. 1987), and must be “complete in itself without reference to the prior or superceded 9 pleading,” Local Rule 15-220. Plaintiff is warned that “[a]ll causes of action alleged in an 10 11 12 original complaint which are not alleged in an amended complaint are waived.” King, 814 F.2d at 567 (citing to London v. Coopers & Lybrand, 644 F.2d 811, 814 (9th Cir. 1981)); accord Forsyth, 114 F.3d at 1474. 13 Accordingly, based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that: 14 1. 15 Plaintiff‟s complaint is dismissed, with leave to amend, for failure to state a claim; 16 2. The Clerk‟s Office shall send to Plaintiff a complaint form; 17 3. Within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order, Plaintiff shall file 18 19 an amended complaint; 4. Plaintiff may not add any new, unrelated claims to this action via his amended 20 complaint and any attempt to do so will result in an order striking the amended 21 complaint; and 22 23 5. If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint, the Court will recommend that this action be dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim. 24 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 27 28 Dated: /s/ Gary S. Austin 4 February 12, 2015 1 2 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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