Escobar v. Kerman et al

Filing 13

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND re 1 Complaint, filed by Dennis J. Escobar. Signed by Judge James Donato on 2/8/18. (lrcS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/8/2018)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 DENNIS J. ESCOBAR, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. SCOTT KERMAN, et al., Defendants. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 17-cv-04238-JD 12 13 Plaintiff, a state prisoner, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 14 The original complaint was dismissed with leave to amend and plaintiff has filed an amended 15 complaint. DISCUSSION 16 17 STANDARD OF REVIEW 18 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek 19 redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. 20 § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims 21 which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek 22 monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se 23 pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th 24 Cir. 1990). 25 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the 26 claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Although a complaint “does not need detailed 27 factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to 28 relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a 1 cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above 2 the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations 3 omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its 4 face.” Id. at 570. The United States Supreme Court has explained the “plausible on its face” 5 standard of Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they 6 must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court 7 should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement 8 to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). 9 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) the alleged deprivation was 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 12 LEGAL CLAIMS 13 Plaintiff presents many allegations regarding different incidents at three different prisons. 14 Federal Rule Civil Procedure 18(a) provides: “A party asserting a claim to relief as an original 15 claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join, either as independent or as 16 alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime as the party has against an opposing 17 party.” “Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 18 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 19 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). “Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different 20 suits[.]” Id. 21 It is true that Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a) provides that “[p]ersons . . . may be joined in one action 22 as defendants if: (A) any right is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with 23 respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or 24 occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the 25 action.” However, “[a] buckshot complaint that would be rejected if filed by a free person – say, a 26 suit complaining that A defrauded the plaintiff, B defamed him, C punched him, D failed to pay a 27 debt, and E infringed his copyright, all in different transactions – should be rejected if filed by a 28 prisoner.” Id. at 607. 2 1 The Eighth Amendment requires that prison officials take reasonable measures to 2 guarantee the safety of prisoners. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). In particular, 3 prison officials have a duty to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners. Id. 4 at 833; Cortez v. Skol, 776 F. 3d 1046, 1050 (9th Cir. 2015). The failure of prison officials to 5 protect inmates from attacks by other inmates or from dangerous conditions at the prison violates 6 the Eighth Amendment when two requirements are met: (1) the deprivation alleged is, objectively, 7 sufficiently serious; and (2) the prison official is, subjectively, deliberately indifferent to inmate 8 health or safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834. A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he knows 9 of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety by failing to take reasonable steps to 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 abate it. Id. at 837. “[T]he treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions under which he is 12 confined are subject to scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment.” Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 13 25, 31 (1993). But a prison official only violates the Eighth Amendment when two requirements 14 are met. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991). First, the plaintiff must satisfy an objective 15 requirement by showing that the deprivation alleged poses “a substantial risk of serious harm.” 16 Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834. Second, the plaintiff must satisfy a subjective requirement by showing 17 that the prison official inflicted the deprivation with a “sufficiently culpable state of mind,” which 18 in prison conditions cases is one of “deliberate indifference” to inmate health or safety. Id. at 834. 19 A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he knows of and disregards an excessive risk to 20 inmate health or safety. Id. at 837. 21 Plaintiff presents many allegations regarding various incidents that occurred at the 22 Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (“SATF”), High Desert State Prison (“HDSP”) and Salinas 23 Valley State Prison (“SVSP”). Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and HDSP are located in the 24 Eastern District of California. The defendants and claims associated with these claims are 25 dismissed without prejudice from this action and plaintiff should file a new action in the Eastern 26 District of California. This case will focus on the events at SVSP which is in this district. 27 28 3 1 Plaintiff states that after his arrival at SVSP he was placed in a double cell and never had 2 an Institutional Classification Hearing to determine why he should not continue in a single cell. 3 Plaintiff states he has various psychological illnesses and a week later his cellmate attacked him. 4 The amended complaint is dismissed with leave to amend to provide more information and present 5 a cognizable claim. 6 To the extent that plaintiff presents a failure to protect claim he must describe the events surrounding that attack by his cellmate, how the specific defendants were deliberately indifferent 8 and how it relates to his psychological problems, which he should also describe. Similarly, to the 9 extent that plaintiff contends that he should not have been placed in a double cell; he must provide 10 more information to state an Eighth Amendment claim regarding his psychological problems and 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 7 why placing him in a double cell violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff should describe the 12 specific actions of each named defendant. The second amended complaint should only present 13 allegations regarding defendants and events at SVSP. CONCLUSION 14 15 1. The amended complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend. Claims and 16 defendants regarding SATF and HDSP are dismissed from this action and plaintiff should file a 17 complaint in the Eastern District of California to pursue those claims. This action continues with 18 respect to the claims and defendants at SVSP. The amended complaint must be filed within 19 twenty-eight (28) days of the date this order is filed and must include the caption and civil case 20 number used in this order and the words SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT on the first page. 21 Because an amended complaint completely replaces the original complaint, plaintiff must include 22 in it all the claims he wishes to present. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 23 1992). He may not incorporate material from the original complaint by reference. Failure to 24 amend within the designated time will result in the dismissal of this case. 25 2. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prosecute this case. Plaintiff must keep the 26 Court informed of any change of address by filing a separate paper with the clerk headed “Notice 27 of Change of Address,” and must comply with the Court’s orders in a timely fashion. Failure to 28 do so may result in the dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of 4 1 2 3 Civil Procedure 41(b). IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: February 8, 2018 4 5 JAMES DONATO United States District Judge 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 DENNIS J. ESCOBAR, Case No. 17-cv-04238-JD Plaintiff, 5 v. CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 6 7 SCOTT KERMAN, et al., Defendants. 8 9 10 I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 That on February 8, 2018, 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. 16 17 18 Dennis J. Escobar ID: #:E-14934 High Desert State Prison (HDSP) P.O. Box 3030, B4-120-L Susanville, CA 96127 19 20 21 Dated: February 8, 2018 22 23 Susan Y. Soong Clerk, United States District Court 24 25 26 27 By:________________________ LISA R. CLARK, Deputy Clerk to the Honorable JAMES DONATO 28 6

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