Tyler v. C-Yard Sgt Banulos

Filing 7

ORDER Dismissing Complaint for Failing to State a Claim Pursuant to 28 U.S.C 1915A(b) (ECF No. #1 ). Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint due by 03/25/2024. Signed by Judge Cynthia Bashant on 02/07/2024.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(mjw)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 CLAUDIE TYLER, CDCR #K-19763, Plaintiff, 13 16 C-YARD SGT BANULOS, Defendants. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (ECF No. 1) vs. 14 15 Case No.: 23-cv-02278-BAS-MMP Plaintiff Claudie Tyler (“Plaintiff” or “Tyler”), proceeding pro se, is currently incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (“RJD”) located in San Diego, California, and has filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See “Compl,” ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has paid the initial civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). (ECF No. 6.) 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) SCREENING A. Standard of Review The Court must conduct an initial review of Plaintiff’s Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), because he is a prisoner and seeks “redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.” See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Section 1915A(a) “mandates early review— ‘before docketing [ ] or [ ] as soon as practicable after 1 23cv2278 1 docketing’—for all complaints ‘in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental 2 entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.’” Chavez v. Robinson, 817 F.3d 3 1162, 1168 (9th Cir. 2016), as amended on reh’g (Apr. 15, 2016). The mandatory 4 screening provisions of § 1915A apply to all prisoners, no matter their fee status, who sue 5 a governmental entity, officer, or employee. See, e.g., Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 6 446–47 (9th Cir. 2000). 7 “On review, the court shall . . . dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the 8 complaint,” if it “(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may 9 be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 10 Olivas v. Nevada ex rel. Dep’t of Corr., 856 F.3d 1281, 1283 (9th Cir. 2017) (citing 28 11 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)). “Failure to state a claim under § 1915A incorporates the familiar 12 standard applied in the context of failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil 13 Procedure 12(b)(6).” Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012). 14 B. Plaintiff’s Factual Allegations 15 Plaintiff’s Complaint contains factual allegations that are difficult to discern. On 16 August 15, 2023, Plaintiff alleges that he was working as a porter on the RJD C-yard when 17 he noticed that Correctional Officer Rios “was in pain.” (Compl. at 3.) Plaintiff claims 18 that he knew Rios “was in pain [because] he [slept] the wrong way and had a crick in his 19 neck.” (Id.) Plaintiff approached Rios and told him to “relax” while he put his hands on 20 Rios to “crack[] his neck.” (Id.) Rios “went to the desk and started sorting mail” while 21 Plaintiff “kept doing his [] porter duties.” (Id.) A sergeant and another correctional officer 22 “came from the program office and put [Plaintiff] in handcuffs.” (Id.) Plaintiff was placed 23 in administrative segregation because of his interaction and claims another correctional 24 officer took a video of the incident and posted it to social media. (See id.) Plaintiff alleges 25 he was “put in the hole for helping someone.” (See id. at 4.) 26 27 Plaintiff seeks $25,000,000 in compensatory damages and $25,000,000 in punitive damages. (See id. at 7.) 28 2 23cv2278 1 C. Discussion 2 1. Due Process Claims 3 To the best the Court can determine, it appears that Plaintiff is claiming that his due 4 process rights were violated when he apparently was charged with a disciplinary violation 5 because of his interaction with Correctional Officer Rios. The Fourteenth Amendment 6 provides that “[n]o state shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without 7 due process of law.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1-Citizens. “To state a procedural due 8 process claim, [a plaintiff] must allege ‘(1) a liberty or property interest protected by the 9 Constitution; (2) a deprivation of the interest by the government; (and) (3) lack of 10 process.’” Wright v. Riveland, 219 F.3d 905, 913 (9th Cir. 2000), quoting Portman v. Cnty. 11 of Santa Clara, 995 F.2d 898, 904 (9th Cir. 1993). 12 However, the Complaint does not contain facts which plausibly allege Plaintiff was 13 denied due process. “Under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, a prisoner 14 is entitled to certain due process protections when he is charged with a disciplinary 15 violation.” Serrano v. Francis, 345 F.3d 1071, 1077 (9th Cir. 2003), citing Wolff v. 16 McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 564–571 (1974). A federally protected liberty interest arises 17 where a sentence is exceeded in “an unexpected manner” or where an inmate is subject to 18 restrictions that impose “atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the 19 ordinary incidents of prison life.” Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995). When a 20 protected liberty interest arises, due process requires prisoners be provided: (1) 24-hour 21 advanced written notice of the charges, (2) a written statement from the factfinder 22 identifying the evidence relied on and the reasons for the action taken, (3) an opportunity 23 “to call witnesses and present documentary evidence in his defense when permitting him 24 to do so will not be unduly hazardous to institutional safety or correctional goals,” 25 (4) assistance at the hearing if he is illiterate or the matter is complex, and (5) a “sufficiently 26 impartial” factfinder. Wolff, 418 U.S. at 564–71. 27 Plaintiff’s Complaint is far from clear, but he appears to challenge his disciplinary 28 hearing by claiming he was trying to “help someone” and therefore, no charges should have 3 23cv2278 1 been brought against him. (See Compl. at 6.) As currently drafted, the Complaint does not 2 plausibly allege a protected liberty interest was at stake in the disciplinary proceedings as 3 necessary to give rise to the Wolff procedural protections because Plaintiff fails to identify 4 any “atypical and significant” hardships imposed on him. 5 6 For these reasons, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A. 7 2. Personal Causation 8 Plaintiff names Sergeant Banulos as the sole named Defendant but he does not allege 9 any specific factual allegations as to this Defendant in the body of the Complaint. Plaintiff 10 references an unnamed sergeant in the factual allegations, but he fails to make clear 11 whether this sergeant is Defendant Banulos. 12 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against this Defendant, Plaintiff must allege 13 facts sufficient to show that this Defendant individually participated in causing a 14 constitutional violation. 15 defendant, through the official’s own individual actions, has violated the constitution.” 16 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676–77 (2009) (rejecting argument that “a supervisor’s 17 mere knowledge of his subordinate’s [unconstitutional actions] amounts to the supervisor’s 18 violating the Constitution.”) “A supervisory official may be held liable under § 1983 only 19 ‘if there exists either (1) his or her personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation, 20 or (2) a sufficient causal connection between the supervisor’s wrongful conduct and the 21 constitutional violation.’” Keates v. Koile, 883 F.3d 1228, 1242–43 (9th Cir. 2018), 22 quoting Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011). “In a section 1983 claim, a 23 supervisor is liable for the acts of his subordinates if the supervisor participated in or 24 directed the violations, or knew of the violations of subordinates and failed to act to prevent 25 them.” Corales v. Bennett, 567 F.3d 554, 570 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks 26 omitted). “[A] plaintiff must plead that each Government-official 27 Plaintiff must set forth factual allegations identifying individual acts or omissions 28 by each person related to his claims which resulted in a constitutional violation. See Leer 4 23cv2278 1 v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988) (“The inquiry into causation must be 2 individualized and focus on the duties and responsibilities of each individual defendant 3 whose acts or omissions are alleged to have caused a constitutional deprivation.”) He has 4 failed to do so as to Defendant Banulos. 5 6 Accordingly, the Court sua sponte dismisses the Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 7 CONCLUSION 8 For the reasons set forth above, the Court: 9 1) DISMISSES Plaintiff’s Complaint sua sponte and with leave to amend in its 10 entirety based on his failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to 11 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). 12 2) GRANTS Plaintiff forty-five (45) days from the date of this Order in which 13 to file a First Amended Complaint curing the deficiencies of pleading noted in this Order. 14 Forty-five days from today is Monday, March 25, 2024. 1 Plaintiff’s First Amended 15 Complaint must be complete by itself without reference to his original Complaint. 16 Defendants not named and any claims not re-alleged in this First Amended Complaint will 17 be considered waived. See S.D. Cal. CivLR 15.1; Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard 18 Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1989) (“[A]n amended pleading supersedes 19 the original.”); Lacey v. Maricopa Cnty., 693 F.3d 896, 928 (9th Cir. 2012) (noting that 20 claims dismissed with leave to amend which are not re-alleged in an amended pleading 21 may be “considered waived if not repled.”). 22 If Plaintiff fails to timely file a First Amended Complaint, the Court will enter a final 23 Order dismissing this civil action based both on Plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon 24 which relief can be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), and his failure to 25 prosecute in compliance with a court order requiring amendment. See Lira v. Herrera, 427 26 F.3d 1164, 1169 (9th Cir. 2005) (“If a plaintiff does not take advantage of the opportunity 27 28 1 Forty-five days from this day falls on a Saturday, so the deadline instead falls on the next court day: Monday, March 25, 2024. 5 23cv2278 1 to fix his complaint, a district court may convert the dismissal of the complaint into 2 dismissal of the entire action.”) 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 5 DATED: February 7, 2024 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6 23cv2278

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