Lucas v. Silva et al

Filing 10

ORDER OF SERVICE. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 10/28/09. (scc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/28/2009)

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1 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA No. C 07-1673 CW (PR) ORDER OF SERVICE 3 ISIAH LUCAS, JR., 4 5 v. Defendants. ________________________________/ Plaintiff, 6 LT. SILVA, et al., 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 Plaintiff Isiah Lucas, Jr., a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP), has filed the present pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging that prison officials at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs while he was incarcerated there in 2006. His motion for 15 leave to proceed in forma pauperis has been granted. Venue is proper in this district because the acts complained 16 17 of occurred at CTF, which is located in Monterey County. 18 84(a), 1391(b). 19 20 I. 21 Standard of Review A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any DISCUSSION 28 U.S.C. 22 case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity 23 or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. 24 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify cognizable 25 claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail 26 to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary 27 relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See id. 28 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally 1 construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 2 699 (9th Cir. 1988). 3 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983, a plaintiff must 4 allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the 5 Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and 6 (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting 7 under the color of state law. 8 (1988). 9 II. 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 Legal Claims A. Injunctive Relief See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 Plaintiff seeks both injunctive relief and monetary damages. 12 However, he is no longer incarcerated at the prison where the 13 alleged violations took place. The jurisdiction of the federal 14 courts depends on the existence of a "case or controversy" under 15 Article III of the Constitution. Pub. Utils. Comm'n of State of A claim is 16 Cal. v. FERC, 100 F.3d 1451, 1458 (9th Cir. 1996). 17 considered moot if it has lost its character as a present, live 18 controversy, and if no effective relief can be granted: "Where the 19 question sought to be adjudicated has been mooted by developments 20 subsequent to filing of the complaint, no justiciable controversy 21 is presented." Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 95 (1968). Where 22 injunctive relief is involved, questions of mootness are determined 23 in light of the present circumstances. 24 F.3d 517, 528 (9th Cir. 1996). 25 When an inmate has been transferred to another prison and 26 there is no reasonable expectation nor demonstrated probability 27 that he will again be subjected to the prison conditions from which 28 he seeks injunctive relief, the claim for injunctive relief should 2 See Mitchell v. Dupnik, 75 1 be dismissed as moot. 2 (9th Cir. 1995). See Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1368-69 A claim that the inmate might be re-transferred 3 to the prison where the injury occurred is too speculative to 4 overcome mootness. 5 Id. Plaintiff has alleged unconstitutional conditions of Plaintiff On 6 confinement during the period of his confinement at CTF. 7 sought injunctive relief to remedy these alleged injuries. 8 April 20, 2007, Plaintiff informed the Court he had been 9 transferred to PVSP. Because Plaintiff has not been incarcerated 10 at CTF since 2006, his claims for injunctive relief from the United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 conditions of his confinement at CTF are DISMISSED as moot. 12 Court reviews Plaintiff's remaining claims for damages. 13 14 B. Deliberate Indifference Claim The Plaintiff alleges that Defendants CTF Warden Ben Curry, 15 Sergeant M. Miranda, Lieutenant Silva and Captain Jarvis denied him 16 adequate medical care. Plaintiff claims that they knew that he had 17 a medical chrono to be assigned to a lower bunk due to his chronic 18 back pains, and that they nevertheless ignored his chrono and were 19 responsible for assigning him to an upper bunk from April 20, 2006 20 through July 8, 2006. Plaintiff claims that during this eighty-day 21 period, he suffered "pain/agony" because of the chronic back pains 22 and knee problems he experienced from being assigned to an upper 23 bunk. 24 Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs violates the 25 Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual 26 punishment. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); 27 McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 1992), overruled 28 on other grounds, WMX Technologies, Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 3 1 1136 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc); Jones v. Johnson, 781 F.2d 769, 771 2 (9th Cir. 1986). A determination of "deliberate indifference" 3 involves an examination of two elements: the seriousness of the 4 prisoner's medical need and the nature of the defendant's response 5 to that need. See McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1059. A "serious" medical 6 need exists if the failure to treat a prisoner's condition could 7 result in further significant injury or the "unnecessary and wanton 8 infliction of pain." 9 104). Id. (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he knows 10 that a prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious harm and United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable steps to abate 12 it. 13 Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). The fact that Plaintiff was issued a medical chrono -- 14 permitting him to be assigned to a lower bunk -- supports an 15 inference that Plaintiff had a serious medical need for this 16 accommodation. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants acted with 17 deliberate indifference because they ignored his chrono and were 18 responsible for assigning him to an upper bunk for a period of 19 eighty days, during which he suffered "pain/agony." The 20 allegations of the complaint are sufficient to state a COGNIZABLE 21 claim for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical 22 needs against Defendants Curry, Miranda, Silva and Jarvis. 23 24 C. Claim Against Defendant Guerra Defendant CTF Captain Guerra is named as a Defendant, but 25 Defendant Guerra is not mentioned in the statement of claim. 26 Plaintiff has failed to link Defendant Guerra to any of the Liability may be imposed on an 4 27 alleged wrongs he has suffered. 28 1 individual defendant under 1983 if the plaintiff can show that 2 the defendant proximately caused the deprivation of a federally 3 protected right. See Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 4 1988); Harris v. City of Roseburg, 664 F.2d 1121, 1125 (9th Cir. 5 1981). A person deprives another of a constitutional right within 6 the meaning of 1983 if he does an affirmative act, participates 7 in another's affirmative act or omits to perform an act which he is 8 legally required to do, that causes the deprivation of which the 9 plaintiff complains. See Leer, 844 F.2d at 633. The inquiry into 10 causation must be individualized and focus on the duties and United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 responsibilities of each individual defendant whose acts or 12 omissions are alleged to have caused a constitutional deprivation. 13 See id. Sweeping conclusory allegations will not suffice; the 14 plaintiff must instead "set forth specific facts as to each 15 individual defendant's" violation of his protected rights. 16 634. 17 If Plaintiff intends to sue Defendant Guerra as a supervisor, 18 he must allege that Defendant Guerra "participated in or directed 19 the violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to 20 prevent them." 21 1989). 22 Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. Id. at Plaintiff has not made such a claim. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Guerra is Plaintiff may name Defendant Guerra 23 DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. 24 as a Defendant in an amendment to the complaint if he can in good 25 faith describe what Defendant Guerra did that violated Plaintiff's 26 constitutional rights. 27 28 D. Claims Against All Employees at CTF A Plaintiff names "all employees" at CTF as Defendants. 5 1 defendant cannot be held liable simply based on his membership in a 2 group without showing his individual participation in unlawful 3 conduct. Chuman v. Wright, 76 F.3d 292, 294 (9th Cir. 1996). 4 Either personal involvement or integral participation of each 5 defendant in the alleged constitutional violation is required 6 before liability may be imposed. 7 930, 936 (9th Cir. 2002). See Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d Plaintiff cannot name "all employees" at 8 CTF as Defendants without naming and linking specifically each CTF 9 employee to his deliberate indifference claim. Accordingly, all 10 claims against the Defendant group of "all employees" at CTF (as United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 opposed to individually named employees at CTF) are DISMISSED WITH 12 PREJUDICE. 13 14 15 16 moot. 17 2. Plaintiff has stated a COGNIZABLE Eighth Amendment claim 18 against Defendants Curry, Miranda, Silva and Jarvis for deliberate 19 indifference to his serious medical needs. 20 3. Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Guerra is DISMISSED Within thirty (30) days of 21 WITH LEAVE TO AMEND as indicated above. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows: 1. Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief are DISMISSED as 22 the date of this Order Plaintiff may file an amended claim against 23 Defendants Guerra as set forth above in Section II(C) of this 24 Order. Plaintiff shall resubmit only that claim and not the entire Plaintiff must clearly label the document an "Amendment 25 complaint. 26 to the Complaint," and write in the case number for this action, 27 Case No. C 07-1673 CW (PR). The failure to do so will result in 28 the dismissal without prejudice of his claim against Defendant 6 1 Guerra. 2 4. All claims against the Defendant group of "all employees" 3 at CTF are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. 4 5. The Clerk of the Court shall mail a Notice of Lawsuit and 5 Request for Waiver of Service of Summons, two copies of the Waiver 6 of Service of Summons, a copy of the complaint and all attachments 7 thereto (docket no. 1) and a copy of this Order to CTF Warden Ben 8 Curry, CTF Lieutenant Silva, CTF Captain Jarvis, and CTF Sergeant 9 M. Miranda. The Clerk of the Court shall also mail a copy of the 10 complaint and a copy of this Order to the State Attorney General's United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 Office in San Francisco. 13 Additionally, the Clerk shall mail a copy 12 of this Order to Plaintiff. 6. Defendants are cautioned that Rule 4 of the Federal Rules 14 of Civil Procedure requires them to cooperate in saving unnecessary 15 costs of service of the summons and complaint. Pursuant to Rule 4, 16 if Defendants, after being notified of this action and asked by the 17 Court, on behalf of Plaintiff, to waive service of the summons, 18 fail to do so, they will be required to bear the cost of such 19 service unless good cause be shown for their failure to sign and 20 return the waiver form. If service is waived, this action will 21 proceed as if Defendants had been served on the date that the 22 waiver is filed, except that pursuant to Rule 12(a)(1)(B), 23 Defendants will not be required to serve and file an answer before 24 sixty (60) days from the date on which the request for waiver was 25 sent. (This allows a longer time to respond than would be required Defendants are asked 26 if formal service of summons is necessary.) 27 to read the statement set forth at the foot of the waiver form that 28 more completely describes the duties of the parties with regard to 7 1 waiver of service of the summons. If service is waived after the 2 date provided in the Notice but before Defendants have been 3 personally served, the Answer shall be due sixty (60) days from the 4 date on which the request for waiver was sent or twenty (20) days 5 from the date the waiver form is filed, whichever is later. 6 7. Defendants shall answer the complaint in accordance with The following briefing 7 the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 9 8 schedule shall govern dispositive motions in this action: a. No later than ninety (90) days from the date their 10 answer is due, Defendants shall file a motion for summary judgment United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 or other dispositive motion. The motion shall be supported by 12 adequate factual documentation and shall conform in all respects to 13 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. If Defendants are of the 14 opinion that this case cannot be resolved by summary judgment, they 15 shall so inform the Court prior to the date the summary judgment 16 motion is due. 18 All papers filed with the Court shall be promptly 17 served on Plaintiff. b. Plaintiff's opposition to the dispositive motion 19 shall be filed with the Court and served on Defendants no later 20 than sixty (60) days after the date on which Defendants' motion is 21 filed. 23 24 25 26 27 28 The Ninth Circuit has held that the following notice should 22 be given to pro se plaintiffs facing a summary judgment motion: The defendants have made a motion for summary judgment by which they seek to have your case dismissed. A motion for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will, if granted, end your case. Rule 56 tells you what you must do in order to oppose a motion for summary judgment. Generally, summary judgment must be granted when there is no genuine issue of material fact -- that is, if there is no real dispute 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 about any fact that would affect the result of your case, the party who asked for summary judgment is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, which will end your case. When a party you are suing makes a motion for summary judgment that is properly supported by declarations (or other sworn testimony), you cannot simply rely on what your complaint says. Instead, you must set out specific facts in declarations, depositions, answers to interrogatories, or authenticated documents, as provided in Rule 56(e), that contradict the facts shown in the defendant's declarations and documents and show that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial. If you do not submit your own evidence in opposition, summary judgment, if appropriate, may be entered against you. If summary judgment is granted [in favor of the defendants], your case will be dismissed and there will be no trial. See Rand v. Rowland, 154 F.3d 952, 962-63 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc). Plaintiff is advised to read Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986) (party opposing summary judgment must come forward with evidence showing triable issues of material fact on every essential element of his claim). Plaintiff is cautioned that because he bears the burden of proving his allegations in this case, he must be prepared to produce evidence in support of those allegations when he files his opposition to Defendants' dispositive motion. Such evidence may include sworn declarations from himself and other witnesses to the incident, and copies of documents authenticated by sworn declaration. Plaintiff will not be able to avoid summary judgment simply by repeating the allegations of his complaint. c. If Defendants wish to file a reply brief, they shall do so no later than thirty (30) days after the date Plaintiff's opposition is filed. d. The motion shall be deemed submitted as of the date 9 1 the reply brief is due. No hearing will be held on the motion 2 unless the Court so orders at a later date. 3 8. Discovery may be taken in this action in accordance with Leave of the Court pursuant 4 the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 5 to Rule 30(a)(2) is hereby granted to Defendants to depose 6 Plaintiff and any other necessary witnesses confined in prison. 7 9. All communications by Plaintiff with the Court must be 8 served on Defendants, or Defendants' counsel once counsel has been 9 designated, by mailing a true copy of the document to Defendants or 10 Defendants' counsel. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 10. It is Plaintiff's responsibility to prosecute this case. 12 Plaintiff must keep the Court informed of any change of address and 13 must comply with the Court's orders in a timely fashion. 14 11. Extensions of time are not favored, though reasonable Any motion for an extension of time 15 extensions will be granted. 17 sought to be extended. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 19 DATED: 10/28/09 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 P:\PRO-SE\CW\CR.07\Lucas1673.service.frm 16 must be filed no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the deadline 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 v. ISIAH LUCAS JR., Plaintiff, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Case Number: CV07-01673 CW CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 7 M. MIRANDA et al, Defendant. 8 9 / United States District Court For the Northern District of California 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. 11 That on October 28, 2009, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said 12 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 13 located in the Clerk's office. 14 15 Isiah Lucas E-91878 16 Pleasant Valley State Prison B/4-108 17 P.O. Box 8502 Coalinga, CA 93210 18 Attorney General 19 State of California 455 Golden Gate Avenue, #11000 20 San Francisco, CA 94102 21 Dated: October 28, 2009 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 P:\PRO-SE\CW\CR.07\Lucas1673.service.frm Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Sheilah Cahill, Deputy Clerk 11

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