Scott v. Beregovskay, et al.

Filing 11

SCREENING ORDER, Order Dismissing Complaint for Violation of Rule 8(a), With Leave to Amend; Thirty-Day Deadline for Plaintiff to File Amended Complaint Not Exceeding 25 Pages; ORDER for Clerk to Send Plaintiff a Civil Complaint Form, signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 9/6/17. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Complaint Form) (Marrujo, C)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 TIANTE DION SCOTT, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 vs. BEREGOVSKAY, et al., 15 Defendants. 1:17-cv-01146-AWI-GSA-PC SCREENING ORDER ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATION OF RULE 8(a), WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1.) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE FOR PLAINTIFF TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT NOT EXCEEDING 25 PAGES 16 17 18 ORDER FOR CLERK TO SEND PLAINTIFF A CIVIL COMPLAINT FORM 19 20 21 22 I. BACKGROUND 23 Tiante Dion Scott (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma 24 pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On June 19, 2017, Plaintiff 25 filed the Complaint commencing this action at the United States District Court for the Northern 26 District of California. (ECF No. 1.) On August 24, 2017, the case was transferred to this court. 27 (ECF No. 6.) 28 Plaintiff’s Complaint is now before the court for screening. 1 1 II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT 2 The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 3 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). 4 The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are 5 legally “frivolous or malicious,” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or 6 that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 7 § 1915A(b)(1),(2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been 8 paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the action or 9 appeal fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 10 III. SUMMARY OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT 11 Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, 12 California. The events at issue in the Complaint allegedly occurred at North Kern State Prison 13 in Delano, California, when Plaintiff was incarcerated there in the custody of the California 14 Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 15 Beregovskay, M.D.; A Shittu, M.D.; Ndukwe N. Odeluga, M.D.; J. Lewis (Deputy Director, 16 Policy and Risk Management Services for California Correctional Health Care Services); R. 17 Robles, M.D.; L. Krzysiak, M.D., S.H. Banayan, M.D.; D. Gines, M.D.; Karen Jose, LVN; T. 18 Guhl, RN; Gabriel, RN; C. Agbasi, LVN; Armendarez, RN; Oyeniyi, LVN; and S. Garza, SRN 19 II (collectively, “Defendants”). 20 Plaintiff names as defendants Olga Plaintiff’s Complaint is 80 pages in length, with an additional 137 pages of attached 21 exhibits. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. 22 IV. PLAINTIFF’S CLAIMS 23 The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: 24 Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress . . . . 25 26 27 28 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 2 1 “[Section] 1983 ‘is not itself a source of substantive rights,’ but merely provides ‘a 2 method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.’” Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 3 393-94 (1989) (quoting Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)); see also Chapman 4 v. Houston Welfare Rights Org., 441 U.S. 600, 618 (1979); Hall v. City of Los Angeles, 697 5 F.3d 1059, 1068 (9th Cir. 2012); Crowley v. Nevada, 678 F.3d 730, 734 (9th Cir. 2012); 6 Anderson v. Warner, 451 F.3d 1063, 1067 (9th Cir. 2006). “To the extent that the violation of 7 a state law amounts to the deprivation of a state-created interest that reaches beyond that 8 guaranteed by the federal Constitution, Section 1983 offers no redress.” Id. 9 To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant acted under 10 color of state law and (2) the defendant deprived him or her of rights secured by the 11 Constitution or federal law. Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 12 2006); see also Marsh v. Cnty. of San Diego, 680 F.3d 1148, 1158 (9th Cir. 2012) (discussing 13 “under color of state law”). A person deprives another of a constitutional right, “within the 14 meaning of § 1983, ‘if he does an affirmative act, participates in another’s affirmative act, or 15 omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which 16 complaint is made.’” Preschooler II v. Clark Cnty. Sch. Bd. of Trs., 479 F.3d 1175, 1183 (9th 17 Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)). “The requisite 18 causal connection may be established when an official sets in motion a ‘series of acts by others 19 which the actor knows or reasonably should know would cause others to inflict’ constitutional 20 harms.” Preschooler II, 479 F.3d at 1183 (quoting Johnson, 588 F.2d at 743). This standard of 21 causation “closely resembles the standard ‘foreseeability’ formulation of proximate cause.” 22 Arnold v. Int’l Bus. Mach. Corp., 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981); see also Harper v. City 23 of Los Angeles, 533 F.3d 1010, 1026 (9th Cir. 2008). 24 25 Plaintiff claims that his rights to adequate medical care under the Eighth Amendment were violated by Defendants. 26 Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 27 Rule 8(a)’s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited 28 exceptions, none of which apply to § 1983 actions. Swierkeiwicz v. Sorema, N.A., 534 U.S. 3 1 506, 512 (2002). Under federal notice pleading, a complaint is required to contain “a short and 2 plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 3 8(a)(2). “Such a statement must simply give defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim 4 is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual 5 allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, 6 supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 7 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964- 8 65 (2007)). While a plaintiff’s allegations are taken as true, courts “are not required to indulge 9 unwarranted inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) 10 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). To state a viable claim for relief, Plaintiff must 11 set forth sufficient factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 12 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere 13 possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. 14 Plaintiff’s Complaint is 80 pages long, with an additional 137 pages of exhibits 15 attached. The Complaint fails to comport with Rule 8(a)’s requirement for “a short and plain 16 statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” 17 narrative does not clearly or succinctly allege facts against the named Defendants. Twenty-five 18 pages is more than sufficient for Plaintiff to identify his claims and set forth specific facts in 19 support of those claims. Plaintiff’s Complaint shall be dismissed for violation of Rule 8(a), 20 with leave to file an amended complaint not exceeding twenty-five pages in length. Plaintiff’s lengthy 21 In the amended complaint, Plaintiff should include only those facts needed to state his 22 claims against each defendant, and there is no need for legal citations, arguments, or 23 hypothetical examples. As for the request for relief, Plaintiff does not need to specify the 24 damages and injunctive relief sought from each of the 15 defendants. Plaintiff should not 25 include evidentiary matter. Exhibits are permissible, Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(c), but they are not 26 necessary in the federal system of notice pleading, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The court strongly 27 suggests to Plaintiff that they should not be submitted where (1) they serve only to confuse the 28 record and burden the court, or (2) they are intended as future evidence. If this action reaches a 4 1 juncture at which the submission of evidence is appropriate and necessary (e.g., summary 2 judgment or trial), Plaintiff will have the opportunity at that time to submit his evidence. 3 V. CONCLUSION AND ORDER 4 The court finds that Plaintiff’s Complaint violates Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of 5 Civil Procedure. The court will dismiss the Complaint and give Plaintiff leave to file a First 6 Amended Complaint not exceeding 25 pages. 7 Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[t]he court should freely 8 give leave to amend when justice so requires.” Accordingly, the court will provide Plaintiff an 9 opportunity to file an amended complaint not exceeding 25 pages. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 10 1122, 1126-30 (9th Cir. 2000). Plaintiff is granted leave to file the First Amended Complaint 11 within thirty days. 12 The First Amended Complaint must allege facts showing what each named defendant 13 did that led to the deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a); Iqbal, 14 556 U.S. at 678; Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). 15 demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights by their 16 actions. Id. at 676-77 (emphasis added). Plaintiff must 17 Plaintiff should note that although he has been given the opportunity to amend, it is not 18 for the purpose of changing the nature of this suit or adding unrelated claims. George v. Smith, 19 507 F.3d 605, 607 (no “buckshot” complaints). Plaintiff is also advised that he has not been 20 granted leave to include allegations of events occurring after the initiation of this lawsuit on 21 June 19, 2017. 22 Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint supercedes the original complaint, Lacey 23 v. Maricopa County, 693 F 3d. 896, 907 n.1 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), and it must be complete 24 in itself without reference to the prior or superceded pleading, Local Rule 220. Therefore, in an 25 amended complaint, as in an original complaint, each claim and the involvement of each 26 defendant must be sufficiently alleged. The amended complaint should be clearly and boldly 27 titled “First Amended Complaint,” refer to the appropriate case number, and be an original 28 signed under penalty of perjury. 5 1 Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that: 2 1. 3 Plaintiff’s Complaint is dismissed for violation of Rule 8(a), with leave to amend; 4 2. The Clerk’s Office shall send Plaintiff a civil rights complaint form; 5 3. Plaintiff is granted leave to file a First Amended Complaint not exceeding 25 6 7 pages, within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order; 4. 8 9 Plaintiff shall caption the amended complaint “First Amended Complaint” and refer to the case number 1:17-cv-01146-GSA-PC; and 5. If Plaintiff fails to file a First Amended Complaint in compliance with this order 10 within thirty days, this case may be dismissed for failure to comply with a court 11 order. 12 13 14 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 6, 2017 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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