Jeys v. King, et al.

Filing 8

SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING 1 COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 7/5/2017. Amended Complaint due by 8/7/2017. (Lundstrom, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 9 CARTHELL DAVID JEYS, 10 11 12 Plaintiff, v. AUDRY KING, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 1:16-cv-01913-BAM SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE 15 16 Plaintiff Carthell David Jeys (“Plaintiff”) is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in 17 forma pauperis in this civil rights action. Individuals detained under California Welfare 18 Institutions Code § 6600 et seq. are civil detainees and are not prisoners within the meaning of 19 the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Page v. Torrey, 201 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2000). 20 Plaintiff’s complaint, filed on December 23, 2016, is currently before the Court for screening 21 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. 22 I. Screening Requirement 23 “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the 24 court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that ... the action or appeal ... fails 25 to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 26 A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the 27 pleader is entitled to relief....” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not 28 required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere 1 1 conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell 2 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual 3 matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Id. (quoting 4 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are 5 not. Id. 6 II. 7 Plaintiff names the following defendants: (1) Hospital Administrator Audry King; (2) 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Allegations in Complaint Hospital Assistant Administrator Brandon Price; and (3) Unit Supervisor Ian Young. Plaintiff alleges as follows: They had me going up [and] down concrete stairs daily that caused extreme stress [and] physical duress onto my ankles, shin’s [and] legs. I was only given “tylenol” regular generic to compensate for my discomfort and chronic pain as they called it. Nothing was attempted since November 2015 to December 12, 2016 when a Dr. Nyugen assigned as our Podiatry Surgen did a sonagram when he descovered the torn tendon on my right ankle to foot called a Tiabialis Posterior Tendon. It can not be repaired only used by orthotic’s devices to aide me in walking (it feels like I stepped on a pebble onto my heel). (ECF No. 1, pp. 4-5) (unedited text). Plaintiff requests compensatory damages, a vehicle made to accommodate him while he drives and immediate release from confinement. 18 III. 19 A. Linkage Requirement 20 The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: 21 23 Every person who, under color of [state law] ... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States ... to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution ... shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. 24 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The statute plainly requires that there be an actual connection or link between 25 the actions of the defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered by Plaintiff. See 26 Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978); Rizzo v. 27 Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 96 S.Ct. 598, 46 L.Ed.2d 561 (1976). The Ninth Circuit has held that “[a] 28 person ‘subjects’ another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of 22 Discussion 2 1 section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another’s affirmative acts, or omits to 2 perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint 3 is made.” Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). 4 Here, Plaintiff fails to link the individual defendants to a constitutional violation. None 5 of the defendants are connected to any action in the complaint. Plaintiff must allege what each 6 individual defendant did or did not do that resulted in a violation of his rights. Plaintiff will be 7 given an opportunity to cure this deficiency. In any amended complaint, Plaintiff may not 8 generally allege that none of the defendants rendered assistance. Rather, he must link each 9 individual defendant to an act or omission that caused the alleged deprivation of constitutional 10 rights. 11 B. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 12 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, a complaint must contain “a short and 13 plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). 14 Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause 15 of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 16 (citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a 17 claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. 18 at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.; see also 19 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556–557. Here, Plaintiff’s complaint is short, but does not contain a plain statement of his claims 20 21 showing that he is entitled to relief. Plaintiff alleges that “they had me going up and down 22 concrete stairs daily that caused extreme stress and physical duress on my ankles, shin’s [and] 23 legs.” Plaintiff’s limited factual allegations are not sufficient to clearly state why Plaintiff was 24 made to use concrete stairs daily and whether any of the defendants witnessed or participated in 25 the alleged incidents. Plaintiff will be given opportunity to amend his complaint to cure these 26 deficiencies. 27 /// 28 /// 3 1 C. Supervisory Liability 2 Although Plaintiff names Hospital Administrator Audry King, Hospital Assistant 3 Administrator Brandon Price, and Unit Supervisor Ian Young as defendants, Plaintiff has not 4 alleged that Admistrator King, Assistant Administrator Price, or Unit Supervisor Young were 5 personally involved in an alleged Constitutional deprivation. To the extent Plaintiff seeks to hold 6 Administrator King, Assistant Administrator Price, Unit Supervisor Young, or any other 7 defendant, liable based upon their supervisory positions, he may not do so. Liability may not be 8 imposed on supervisory personnel for the actions or omissions of their subordinates under the 9 theory of respondeat superior. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676–77; Simmons v. Navajo Cty., Ariz., 609 10 F.3d 1011, 1020–21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 11 2009); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). 12 Supervisors may be held liable only if they “participated in or directed the violations, or 13 knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them.” Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 14 (9th Cir. 1989); accord Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1205–06 (9th Cir. 2011); Corales v. 15 Bennett, 567 F.3d 554, 570 (9th Cir. 2009). Supervisory liability may also exist without any 16 personal participation if the official implemented “a policy so deficient that the policy itself is a 17 repudiation of the constitutional rights and is the moving force of the constitutional violation.” 18 Redman v. Cty. of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435, 1446 (9th Cir. 1991) (citations and quotations 19 marks omitted), abrogated on other grounds by Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994). 20 Here, Plaintiff has not alleged Administrator King, Assistant Administrator Price, or Unit 21 Supervisor Young implemented a deficient policy which was a “repudiation of . . . constitutional 22 rights.” Redman, 942 F.2d at 1146. Plaintiff also has not alleged involvement in any 23 constitutional violation by Admistrator King, Assistant Administrator Price, or Unit Supervisor 24 Young, save for naming them as defendants. Plaintiff will be granted leave to amend to cure this 25 deficiency. 26 D. Right to Medical Care 27 Plaintiff alleges that received only “‘tylenol’ regular generic” as medical care for thirteen 28 months while experiencing extreme stress in his ankles, shins and legs and suffering from a torn 4 1 tendon in his right ankle. As a civil detainee, Plaintiff’s right to medical care is protected by the 2 substantive component of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Youngberg v. 3 Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 315 (1982). Under this provision of the Constitution, Plaintiff is “entitled 4 to more considerate treatment and conditions of confinement than criminals whose conditions of 5 confinement are designed to punish.” Jones v. Blanas, 393 F.3d 918, 931 (9th Cir. 2004) 6 (quoting Youngberg, 457 U.S. at 321-22). Thus, to avoid liability, defendants’ decisions must be 7 supported by “professional judgment.” Youngberg, 457 U.S. at 323. A defendant fails to use 8 professional judgment when his or her decision is “such a substantial departure from accepted 9 professional judgment, practice, or standards as to demonstrate that [he or she] did not base the 10 11 decision on such a judgment.” Youngberg, 457 U.S. at 323. In determining whether a defendant has met his or her constitutional obligations, 12 decisions made by the appropriate professional are entitled to a presumption of correctness. 13 Youngberg, 457 U.S. at 324. “[T]he Constitution only requires that the courts make certain that 14 professional judgment in fact was exercised. It is not appropriate for the courts to specify which 15 of several professionally acceptable choices should have been made.” Id. at 321. 16 Here, Plaintiff’s allegations fail to state a medical care claim. The Court cannot ascertain 17 from Plaintiff’s complaint what the individual defendants did or did not do that violated 18 Plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Plaintiff has alleged that he was in chronic pain yet “nothing was 19 attempted” for thirteen months from November 2015 to December 12, 2016. However, 20 Plaintiff’s complaint does not specify whether or when he sought treatment and from whom. 21 Plaintiff’s complaint also does not identify who provided “tylenol” and why this was a 22 “substantial departure from accepted professional judgment.” Youngberg, 457 U.S. at 323. 23 Further, it is unclear in the complaint whether any measures would have produced relief for 24 Plaintiff, since Dr. Nyugen purportedly said Plaintiff’s injury could not be repaired. Plaintiff 25 will be given leave to cure these deficiencies. 26 E. Habeas Corpus 27 Plaintiff requests immediate release from confinement. However, if Plaintiff seeks to 28 challenge “the very fact or duration of his physical imprisonment, and the relief he seeks is a 5 1 determination that he is entitled to immediate release or a speedier release from that 2 imprisonment, his sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 3 U.S. 475, 500 (1973); see also Simpson v. Ahlin, No. 1:15-cv-01301-BAM (PC), 2016 WL 4 8731340, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 16, 2016) (petition for writ of habeas corpus exclusive method 5 for civil detainee to challenge the validity of his continued commitment). If Plaintiff chooses to 6 file an amended complaint for a civil rights violation, he is advised that his amended complaint 7 may be dismissed if the allegations challenge the legality or duration of his confinement. 8 IV. 9 Plaintiff’s complaint fails to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and fails to Conclusion and Order 10 state a cognizable claim. The Court will grant Plaintiff an opportunity to cure the identified 11 deficiencies to the extent he is able to do so in good faith. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 12 (9th Cir. 2000). 13 Plaintiff’s amended complaint should be brief, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), but it must state what 14 each named defendant did that led to the deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights, Iqbal, 15 556 U.S. at 678-79, 129 S.Ct. at 1948-49. Although accepted as true, the “[f]actual allegations 16 must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Twombly, 550 U.S. 17 at 555 (citations omitted). 18 Additionally, Plaintiff may not change the nature of this suit by adding new, unrelated 19 claims in his first amended complaint. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (no 20 “buckshot” complaints). 21 Finally, Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint supersedes the original complaint. 22 Lacey v. Maricopa Cty., 693 F.3d 896, 927 (9th Cir. 2012). Therefore, Plaintiff’s amended 23 complaint must be “complete in itself without reference to the prior or superseded pleading.” 24 Local Rule 220. 25 Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that: 26 1. The Clerk’s Office shall send Plaintiff a complaint form; 27 2. Plaintiff’s complaint is dismissed with leave to amend; 28 6 1 2 3 4 3. Within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order, Plaintiff shall file a first amended complaint; 4. If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint in compliance with this order, this action will be dismissed for failure to obey a court order and for failure to state a claim. 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 Dated: /s/ Barbara July 5, 2017 8 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7

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