Pagaling v. Napa State Hospital

Filing 13

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 5/18/2023. Amended Complaint due by 6/14/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(tsh, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/18/2023)Any non-CM/ECF Participants have been served by First Class Mail to the addresses of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

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Case 5:22-cv-05277-BLF Document 13 Filed 05/18/23 Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 MICHAEL JOSEPH PAGALING, Plaintiff, 13 16 ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. 14 15 Case No. 22-cv-05277 BLF NAPA STATE HOSPITAL, Defendants. 17 18 Plaintiff, a state prisoner, filed a civil rights complaint against the Napa State 19 Hospital (“NSH”), where he is currently confined. Dkt. No. 1. The matter was dismissed 20 for Plaintiff’s failure to file a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) in 21 response to the Clerk’s notice; judgment was entered the same day. Dkt. Nos. 3, 4. The 22 matter was reopened after the Court found good cause in several post judgment filings by 23 Plaintiff. Dkt. No. 8. Plaintiff filed an IFP motion which will be addressed in a separate 24 order. Dkt. No. 10. 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 Case 5:22-cv-05277-BLF Document 13 Filed 05/18/23 Page 2 of 5 DISCUSSION 1 2 A. A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a 3 4 prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a 5 governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any 6 cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim 7 upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune 8 from such relief. See id. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally 9 construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 10 United States District Court Northern District of California Standard of Review 11 elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was 12 violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the 13 color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 14 B. 15 Plaintiff’s Claims Plaintiff claims that he and his “peers and staff” suffered from September 1-10, 16 2022, due to extreme heat in Unit T-7 where there was no air-conditioning. Dkt. No. 1 at 17 3. Plaintiff claims that other units in NSH have air conditioning but not Unit T-7. Id. 18 Plaintiff claims that it got as hot as 114 degrees, and they “could have cooked an egg on 19 our beds.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that these conditions amounted to cruel and unusual 20 punishment, and that he suffered mental stress, feeling repressed, depression, and extreme 21 headaches. Id. 22 The Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, but neither does it permit 23 inhumane ones. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). The treatment a 24 prisoner receives in prison and the conditions under which he is confined are subject to 25 scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment. See Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993). 26 The Eighth Amendment imposes duties on these officials, who must provide all prisoners 27 28 2 Case 5:22-cv-05277-BLF Document 13 Filed 05/18/23 Page 3 of 5 1 with the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, medical care 2 and personal safety. See Farmer, 511 U.S. at 832; DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dep't 3 of Social Servs., 489 U.S. 189, 199-200 (1989). A prison official violates the Eighth 4 Amendment when two requirements are met: (1) the deprivation alleged must be, 5 objectively, sufficiently serious, Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834 (citing Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 6 294, 298 (1991)), and (2) the prison official possesses a sufficiently culpable state of mind, 7 id. (citing Wilson, 501 U.S. at 297). United States District Court Northern District of California 8 A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he or she knows that a prisoner faces a 9 substantial risk of serious harm and disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable steps 10 to abate it. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. The prison official must not only “be aware of facts 11 from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists,” but 12 “must also draw the inference.” Id. If a prison official should have been aware of the risk, 13 but did not actually know, the official has not violated the Eighth Amendment, no matter 14 how severe the risk. Gibson v. County of Washoe, 290 F.3d 1175, 1188 (9th Cir. 2002). 15 The allegations are insufficient to state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim. 16 First of all, it is unclear whether Unit T-7 did not have any air-conditioning by design or 17 because it was temporarily malfunctioning. Plaintiff’s allegation that he suffered for a 18 temporary period of 10 days indicates it was more likely the latter. Plaintiff should clarify 19 this detail in an amended complaint. 20 If the lack of air-conditioning was due to a temporary malfunction in the unit rather 21 than an architectural design, the allegations are insufficient to satisfy the second element, 22 i.e., that a prison official possessed a sufficiently culpable state of mind. Plaintiff names 23 only the NSH as a defendant but makes no specific allegations against the Hospital in his 24 brief statement of facts. Dkt. No. 1 at 3. Furthermore, Plaintiff does not identify any 25 specific NSH employee or staff member who knew Plaintiff faced a substantial risk of 26 serious harm due to the extreme heat and disregarded that risk by failing to take reasonable 27 28 3 Case 5:22-cv-05277-BLF Document 13 Filed 05/18/23 Page 4 of 5 1 steps to abate it. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Without any facts establishing that a specific 2 state actor violated Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment rights, Plaintiff cannot state a claim 3 under § 1983. At most, Plaintiff may have a claim for negligence, but neither negligence 4 nor gross negligence is actionable under § 1983 in the prison context. See Farmer, 511 5 U.S. at 835-36 & n.4; Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1334 (9th Cir. 1990) (gross 6 negligence insufficient to state claim for denial of medical needs to prisoner). Plaintiff 7 shall be granted leave to file an amended complaint to attempt to allege sufficient facts to 8 state an Eighth Amendment claim. United States District Court Northern District of California 9 In preparing an amended complaint, Plaintiff should keep the following principles 10 in mind. Liability may be imposed on an individual defendant under § 1983 only if 11 Plaintiff can show that the defendant proximately caused the deprivation of a federally 12 protected right. See Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988); Harris v. City of 13 Roseburg, 664 F.2d 1121, 1125 (9th Cir. 1981). A person deprives another of a 14 constitutional right within the meaning of section 1983 if he does an affirmative act, 15 participates in another’s affirmative act or omits to perform an act which he is legally 16 required to do, that causes the deprivation of which the plaintiff complains. See Leer, 844 17 F.2d at 633. 18 CONCLUSION 19 20 For the reasons state above, the Court orders as follows: 21 1. The complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend. Within twenty-eight 22 (28) days from the date this order is filed, Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint using 23 the court’s form complaint to correct the deficiencies described above. The amended 24 complaint must include the caption and civil case number used in this order, i.e., Case No. 25 C 22-cv-5277 BLF (PR), and the words “AMENDED COMPLAINT” on the first page. 26 Plaintiff must answer all the questions on the form in order for the action to proceed. 27 28 4 Case 5:22-cv-05277-BLF Document 13 Filed 05/18/23 Page 5 of 5 1 Plaintiff is reminded that the amended complaint supersedes the original, and Plaintiff may 2 not make references to the original complaint. Claims not included in the amended 3 complaint are no longer claims and defendants not named in an amended complaint are no 4 longer defendants. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir.1992). 5 Failure to respond in accordance with this order by filing an amended 6 complaint in the time provided will result in the dismissal of this action without 7 further notice to Plaintiff. 8 9 10 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 2. 12 3. The “complaint” filed under Docket No. 9 is merely a request for the Court to accept the accompanying IFP application. Dkt. No. 10. Accordingly, the Clerk shall change this entry to reflect this information. Dkt. No. 9. 4. The Clerk shall include two copies of the court’s complaint with a copy of this order to Plaintiff. 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 Dated: ___May 18, 2023____ ________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Order of Dismissal with Leave to Amend P:\PRO-SE\BLF\CR.22\05277Pagaling_dwlta 26 27 28 5

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