Barnett v. San Mateo County Jail

Filing 6

ORDER of Dismissal with Leave to Amend. Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on 6/30/11. (jjoS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/30/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 DUSTIN JAMES BARNETT, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) ) v. ) ) SAN MATEO COUNTY JAIL’S ) FORENSIC MENTAL HEALTH ) SERVICES, ) ) Defendants. __________________________________ ) No. C 11-2719 JSW (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND 16 INTRODUCTION 17 Plaintiff, an inmate at the San Mateo County Jail proceeding pro se, filed this 18 rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has been granted leave to proceed in 19 forma pauperis in a separate order. The Court now reviews the complaint and dismisses 20 with leave to amend. 21 DISCUSSION 22 I. Standard of Review 23 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners 24 seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 25 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss any portion 26 of the complaint, if the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon 27 which relief may be granted,” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune 28 1 from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. 2 Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). 3 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement 4 of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not 5 necessary; the statement need only '"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim 6 is and the grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 2200 7 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need 8 detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds of his 9 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic 10 recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must 11 be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. 12 Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer 13 "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 1974. Pro se 14 pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 15 699 (9th Cir. 1990). 16 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: 17 (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and 18 (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state 19 law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 20 II. 21 Legal Claims Plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of psychiatric medicine at the San Mateo 22 County Jail. He alleges that he is manic-depressive for which he has been taking 23 medicine since he was twelve years old, when he was in a mental hospital. He further 24 alleges that he hears voices, has violent thoughts, and has attempted suicide many times. 25 When liberally construed, these allegations state a claim for deliberate indifference to his 26 serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel 27 and unusual punishment. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). 28 However, the only defendant named by Plaintiff is the San Mateo County Jail’s 1 Forensic Mental Health Services (“FMHS”). It is unclear whether this is a discrete entity 2 that is separate from the jail or the county itself. Either way, as it is a local government 3 entity, Plaintiff must show: (1) that he possessed a constitutional right of which he or she 4 was deprived; (2) that the local government entity had a policy; (3) that this policy 5 amounts to deliberate indifference to his constitutional rights; and (4) that the policy is 6 the moving force behind the constitutional violation. See Plumeau v. School Dist. #40 7 County of Yamhill, 130 F.3d 432, 438 (9th Cir. 1997). Plaintiff has not alleged that 8 FMHS had a policy that amounted to deliberate indifference to his Eighth Amendment 9 rights and that was the moving force behind his failure to receive medication. 10 Consequently, the complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim for 11 relief against the named defendant. Plaintiff will be given leave to file an amended 12 complaint in which he makes the allegations necessary to establish FHMS’s liability 13 under Plumeau. Alternatively, in the amended complaint Plaintiff may name individual 14 defendants, but only if he also alleges actions or omissions by them that proximately 15 caused Plaintiff to go without the medical treatment he needed. 16 CONCLUSION 17 1. The complaint is DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Plaintiff shall 18 file an amended complaint that corrects the deficiencies described above within thirty 19 (30) days from the date this order is filed. The amendment must include the caption and 20 civil case number used in this order (Case No. C 11-2719 JSW (PR)) and the words 21 “COURT-ORDERED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT” on the first page. Because an 22 amended complaint completely replaces the original complaint, see Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 23 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992), Plaintiff may not incorporate material from the 24 original or amended complaints by reference. Failure to amend within the designated 25 time and in accordance with this order will result in the dismissal of this action. 26 // 27 // 28 1 2. It is Plaintiff's responsibility to prosecute this case. Plaintiff must keep the 2 Court informed of any change of address and must comply with the Court's orders in a 3 timely fashion. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of this action under Federal 4 Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: June 30, 2011 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 JEFFREY S. WHITE United States District Judge 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 DUSTIN J. BARNETT, Case Number: CV11-02719 JSW Plaintiff, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 6 7 v. 8 SAN MATEO COUNTY JAIL et al, 9 Defendant. 10 11 12 13 14 / I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on June 30, 2011, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dustin J. Barnett 1150859 300 Bradford Street Redwood City, CA 94063 Dated: June 30, 2011 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Jennifer Ottolini, Deputy Clerk

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