Shabazz v. Beard, et al.

Filing 10

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT for Plaintiff's Violation of Rule 8(a), WITH LEAVE TO AMEND and ORDER RESOLVING 6 Plaintiff's Motion signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 6/25/2015. Amended Complaint due within thirty (30) days. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Complaint Form). (Jessen, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 AMIR SHABAZZ, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 vs. 1:15-cv-00881-GSA-PC ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR PLAINTIFF’S VIOLATION OF RULE 8(a), WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1; also resolves ECF No. 6.) JEFFREY A. BEARD, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT NOT EXCEEDING TWENTY-FIVE PAGES 17 18 19 I. BACKGROUND 20 Amir Shabazz (APlaintiff@) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in 21 this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ' 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint 22 commencing this action on October 16, 2014, at the Sacramento Division of the United States 23 District Court for the Eastern District of California. (ECF No. 1.) On June 10, 2015, the case 24 was transferred to the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California. (ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff’s Complaint is now before the court for screening. 25 26 II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT 27 The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 28 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. ' 1915A(a). 1 1 The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are 2 legally Afrivolous or malicious,@ that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or 3 that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 4 ' 1915A(b)(1),(2). ANotwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been 5 paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or 6 appeal fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.@ 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 7 III. PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT 8 Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, 9 California, in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 10 (CDCR). The events in the Complaint allegedly occurred at Pleasant Valley State Prison in 11 Coalinga, California, when Plaintiff was incarcerated there. Plaintiff names as defendants 12 Jeffrey A. Beard (Ph.D), Paul D. Brazelton, Edmund G. Brown, Matthew Cate, James D. 13 Hartley, Susan L. Hubbard, Deborah Hysen, Dr. Felix Igbinosa, J. Clark Kelso, Tanya 14 Rothchild, Arnold Schwarzenegger, State of California, Dwight Winslow (MD), and Doe 15 Defendants 1-100. 16 IV. RULE 8(a) 17 Under federal notice pleading, a complaint is required to contain Aa short and plain 18 statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . .@ Fed. R. Civ. P. 19 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but A[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements 20 of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.@ Ashcroft v. 21 Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 22 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 2955, 1964-65 (2007)). AWhile a plaintiff=s allegations are taken 23 as true, courts Aare not required to indulge unwarranted inferences.@ Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, 24 Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). To 25 state a viable claim for relief, Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual allegations sufficient to 26 state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 129 S.Ct. at 1950; Moss v. U.S. Secret 27 Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of 28 meeting this plausibility standard. Id. 2 1 Plaintiff=s Complaint consists of 72 typewritten pages divided into 275 paragraphs, with 2 55 pages of attached exhibits. The Complaint fails to comport with Rule 8(a)'s requirement of 3 Aa short and plain statement of the claim.@ Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Plaintiff=s lengthy narrative 4 does not succinctly allege facts against the named defendants. Although the Federal Rules 5 adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the 6 claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Community Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 7 1984). Therefore, Plaintiff’s Complaint shall be dismissed for his violation of Rule 8(a). 8 Plaintiff shall be granted leave to file a First Amended Complaint not exceeding twenty- 9 five pages. Twenty-five pages is more than sufficient for Plaintiff to identify his claims and set 10 forth specific facts in support of those claims. Further, should Plaintiff choose to type the First 11 Amended Complaint, he is required to use double-spacing. The First Amended Complaint 12 shall be stricken from the record if it violates these limitations. 13 V. CONCLUSION AND ORDER 14 The court finds that Plaintiff’s Complaint violates Rule 8(a). Plaintiff shall be granted 15 thirty days in which to file a First Amended Complaint curing the deficiencies described in this 16 order. 17 The amended complaint should be brief, but must state what each named defendant did 18 that led to the deprivation of Plaintiff=s constitutional or other federal rights. Fed. R. Civ. P. 19 8(a); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676; Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). There is no 20 respondeat superior liability, and each defendant is only liable for his or her own misconduct. 21 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-77. Plaintiff must set forth Asufficient factual matter ... to >state a claim 22 that is plausible on its face.=@ Id. at 677 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Plaintiff must 23 also demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. 24 Jones, 297 F.3d at 934 (emphasis added). Although accepted as true, the “[f]actual allegations 25 must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level ....” Twombly, 550 U.S. 26 at 554 (citations omitted). 27 Plaintiff should note that although he has been given the opportunity to amend, it is not 28 for the purpose of adding issues arising after October 16, 2014. Plaintiff is cautioned that he 3 1 may not change the nature of this suit by adding new, unrelated claims in his amended 2 complaint. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (no “buckshot” complaints). 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 To the extent that Plaintiff seeks to bring an Eighth Amendment medical claim, the following legal standard is included for guidance: A[T]o maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on prison medical treatment, an inmate must show >deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.=@ Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104, 97 S.Ct. 285 (1976)). The two-part test for deliberate indifference requires the plaintiff to show (1) A>a serious medical need= by demonstrating that >failure to treat a prisoner=s condition could result in further significant injury or the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,=@ and (2) Athe defendant=s response to the need was deliberately indifferent.@ Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096 (quoting McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 1992), overruled on other grounds by WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) (internal quotations omitted)). Deliberate indifference is shown by Aa purposeful act or failure to respond to a prisoner=s pain or possible medical need, and harm caused by the indifference.@ Id. (citing McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1060). Deliberate indifference may be manifested Awhen prison officials deny, delay or intentionally interfere with medical treatment, or it may be shown by the way in which prison physicians provide medical care.@ Id. Where a prisoner is alleging a delay in receiving medical treatment, the delay must have led to further harm in order for the prisoner to make a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. McGuckin at 1060 (citing Shapely v. Nevada Bd. of State Prison Comm=rs, 766 F.2d 404, 407 (9th Cir. 1985)). ADeliberate indifference is a high legal standard.@ Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1060 (9th Cir. 2004). AUnder this standard, the prison official must not only >be aware of the facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists,= but that person >must also draw the inference.=@ Id. at 1057 (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837, 114 S.Ct. 1970 (1994)). A>If a prison official should have been aware of the risk, but was not, then the official has not violated the Eighth Amendment, no matter how severe the risk.=@ Id. (quoting Gibson v. County of Washoe, Nevada, 290 F.3d 1175, 1188 (9th Cir. 2002)). AA showing of medical malpractice or negligence is insufficient to establish a constitutional deprivation under the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 1060. A[E]ven gross negligence is insufficient to establish a constitutional violation.@ Id. (citing Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1334 (9th Cir. 1990)). 26 AA difference of opinion between a prisoner-patient and prison medical authorities regarding treatment does not give rise to a ' 1983 claim.@ Franklin v. Oregon, 662 F.2d 1337, 1344 (9th Cir. 1981) (internal citation omitted). To prevail, plaintiff Amust show that the course of treatment the doctors chosen was medically unacceptable under the circumstances . . . and . . . that they chose this course in conscious disregard of an excessive risk to plaintiff=s health.@ Jackson v. McIntosh, 90 F.3d 330, 332 (9th Cir. 1996) (internal citations omitted). 27 Plaintiff names Doe defendants in this action. Unidentified, or "John Doe" defendants 28 must be named or otherwise identified before service can go forward. AAs a general rule, the 24 25 4 1 use of >John Doe= to identify a defendant is not favored.@ Gillespie v. Civiletti, 629 F.2d 637, 2 642 (9th Cir. 1980). Plaintiff is advised that John Doe or Jane Doe defendants cannot be served 3 by the United States Marshal until Plaintiff has identified them as actual individuals and 4 amended his complaint to substitute names for John Doe or Jane Doe. For service to be 5 successful, the Marshal must be able to identify and locate defendants. 6 With respect to exhibits, while they are permissible, Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(c), they are not 7 necessary in the federal system of notice pleading, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The Court strongly 8 suggests to Plaintiff that they should not be submitted where (1) they serve only to confuse the 9 record and burden the Court, or (2) they are intended as future evidence. If this action reaches 10 a juncture at which the submission of evidence is appropriate and necessary (e.g., summary 11 judgment or trial), Plaintiff will have the opportunity at that time to submit his evidence. 12 Plaintiff is cautioned that it is not the duty of the court to look through all of his exhibits to 13 determine whether or not he has claims cognizable under ' 1983. Rather, the court looks to the 14 factual allegations contained in Plaintiff=s complaint to determine whether or not Plaintiff has 15 stated a cognizable claim for relief under ' 1983. 16 Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint supercedes the prior complaints, Lacey 17 v. Maricopa County, 693 F 3d. 896, 907 n.1 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), and it must be complete 18 in itself without reference to the prior or superceded pleadings, Local Rule 220. Therefore, in 19 an amended complaint, as in an original complaint, each claim and the involvement of each 20 defendant must be sufficiently alleged. The amended complaint should be clearly and boldly 21 titled AFirst Amended Complaint,@ refer to the appropriate case number, and be an original 22 signed under penalty of perjury. 23 Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that: 24 1. 25 Plaintiff=s Complaint, filed on October 16, 2014, is dismissed for violation of Rule 8(a), with leave to amend; 26 2. 27 /// 28 The Clerk=s Office shall send Plaintiff a civil rights complaint form; /// 5 1 3. Within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order, Plaintiff shall file 2 a First Amended Complaint curing the deficiencies identified by the court in this 3 order; 4 4. 5 6 refer to the case number 1:15-cv-00881-GSA-PC; 5. 7 8 The First Amended Complaint may not exceed twenty-five pages in length, and it will be stricken from the record if it violates this page limitation; 6. 9 10 Plaintiff shall caption the amended complaint AFirst Amended Complaint@ and If Plaintiff chooses to type the First Amended Complaint, he is required to use double-spacing; 7. Plaintiff may not add any new, unrelated claims to this action via his amended 11 complaint and any attempt to do so will result in an order striking the amended 12 complaint; and 13 8. 14 Plaintiff’s failure to comply with this order shall result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed in its entirety. 15 16 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 25, 2015 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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