Jones v. Kroll et al

Filing 12

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 7 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim filed by Kroll, Daubs. It is recommended that Defendants' motion to dismiss the claims in plaintiff's complaint against defendant Krall shall b e granted and to dismiss without prejudice plaintiff's remaining claims against defendant Krall. It is ordered that objections to the R&R shall be filed no later than 5/2/2017; any reply to the objections shall be filed with the Court no later than 5/9/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhardt on 4/17/2017.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dxj)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ELVIS JONES, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 Case No.: 16-cv-2370 LAB (JLB) REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANT KRALL v. KROLL et al., Defendants. 11 12 [ECF No. 7] 13 14 Plaintiff Elvis Jones, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed 15 a complaint in this Court on September 19, 2016, alleging civil rights violations pursuant 16 to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Dr. T. Krall (erroneously sued as “Dr. Kroll”) and 17 Dr. C. Daub (erroneously sued as “Dr. Daubs”). (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff’s complaint alleges 18 that Dr. Krall and Dr. Daub violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and 19 unusual punishment when they failed to protect him from an attack by another inmate while 20 housed at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. (Id.) 21 Presently before the Court is Defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims alleged in 22 Plaintiff’s complaint against Defendant Krall. (ECF No. 7.) In response to Defendants’ 23 motion, Plaintiff has filed a statement of non-opposition titled, “Agreement to dismiss Dr. 24 Kroll as defendant from Complaint.”1 (ECF No. 11.) 25 26 The Court notes that Plaintiff’s statement filed in response to Defendants’ motion to dismiss agrees to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Krall only. Defendants have not moved to dismiss the claims asserted against Defendant Daub (see ECF No. 7), and Plaintiff’s statement of non-opposition asserts that he intends for Defendant Daub to remain a defendant in this case (see ECF No. 11). 1 27 28 1 16-cv-2370 LAB (JLB) 1 The Court submits this Report and Recommendation to United States District Judge 2 Larry A. Burns pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 72.1 of the Local 3 Rules of Practice for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. 4 After a thorough review of Plaintiff’s complaint, Defendants’ motion to dismiss, and 5 Plaintiff’s response thereto, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court 6 RECOMMENDS that Defendants’ motion to dismiss (ECF No. 7) be GRANTED. 7 Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that Defendants Krall and Daub violated Plaintiff’s 8 Eighth Amendment right when they failed to protect him from an attack by another inmate. 9 Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants allowed an inmate gang member and enemy 10 of Plaintiff’s, inmate Pride, into the mental health program from which Plaintiff was 11 receiving treatment. (ECF No. 1 at 5–7.) As a result, Plaintiff alleges, Plaintiff was 12 attacked by another inmate on the orders of inmate Pride. (Id. at 4, 7.) Plaintiff sustained 13 a broken jaw as a result of the attack. (Id. at 4–5.) 14 A prison official violates an inmate’s Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel 15 and unusual punishment when he acts with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of 16 serious harm to the inmate. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 828 (1994). The deliberate 17 indifference standard involves both an objective and subjective prong. Id. at 834. Under 18 the objective prong, the alleged deprivation suffered as a result of the official’s act or 19 omission to act must have been “sufficiently serious.” Id. Under the subjective standard, 20 the prison official must have had a “sufficiently culpable state of mind,” which, in the 21 context of prisoner § 1983 cases, is one of deliberate indifference. Id. (quoting Wilson v. 22 Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 297 (1991)). To act with deliberate indifference, a prison official 23 must know of and disregard an excessive risk to an inmate’s health or safety. Id. at 837. 24 That is, the official must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn 25 that a substantial risk of serious harm exists and draw the inference. Id. 26 Liability under § 1983 arises only upon a showing of personal participation by the 27 defendant. Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Within the context of 28 § 1983, a person subjects another to the deprivation of a constitutional right only “if he 2 16-cv-2370 LAB (JLB) 1 does an affirmative act, participates in another’s affirmative act, or omits to perform an act 2 which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made.” 3 Preschooler II v. Clark Cty. Sch. Bd. of Trs., 479 F.3d 1175, 1183 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting 4 Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)). 5 Here, Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s claims against Dr. Krall should be dismissed 6 because “the Complaint contains virtually no details about Defendant Krall’s alleged 7 involvement or culpability.” (ECF No. 7-1 at 4.) “The only allegations about Defendant 8 Krall,” Defendants argue, “are that Krall is a psychologist, and that Krall met with inmate 9 Pride one time about the EOP program.” (Id.) 10 The Court agrees with Defendants that Plaintiff’s complaint fails to allege sufficient 11 facts both that Defendant Krall personally participated in actions resulting in the 12 complained of deprivation and that Defendant Krall was deliberately indifferent to a 13 substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s complaint makes only two mentions of 14 Defendant Krall: that Dr. Krall is a psychiatrist or psychologist and that he had met with 15 inmate Pride concerning inmate Pride’s need of mental health services. (ECF No. 1 at 2, 16 5.) The complaint does not allege that Dr. Krall was in any way involved in allowing 17 inmate Pride into the same mental health program from which Plaintiff was receiving 18 treatment or that he did so with knowledge that inmate Pride posed an excessive risk of 19 harm to Plaintiff. Thus, in light of both Plaintiff’s failure to allege that Defendant Krall 20 personally participated in the events that Plaintiff complains violated his Eighth 21 Amendment right, see Taylor, 880 F.2d at 1045, and Plaintiff’s statement agreeing to 22 dismiss his claims against Defendant Krall (ECF No. 11), the Court recommends that 23 Defendants’ motion to dismiss (ECF No. 7) be GRANTED. 24 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that the District Court issue an 25 Order: (1) Accepting this Report and Recommendation; (2) GRANTING Defendants’ 26 motion to dismiss the claims in Plaintiff’s complaint against Defendant Krall (ECF No. 7); 27 and (3) DISMISSING without prejudice Plaintiff’s remaining claims against Defendant 28 Krall. 3 16-cv-2370 LAB (JLB) 1 IT IS ORDERED that no later than May 2, 2017, any party to this action may file 2 written objections with the Court and serve a copy on all parties. The document should be 3 captioned “Objections to Report and Recommendation.” 4 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any reply to the objections shall be filed with 5 the Court and served on all parties no later than May 9, 2017. The parties are advised that 6 failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to raise those 7 objections on appeal of the Court’s order. See Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153, 1156 (9th 8 Cir. 1991). 9 Dated: April 17, 2017 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 16-cv-2370 LAB (JLB)

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