Quin'Ley v. Craig et al
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DENYING MOTION FOR COUNSEL re 9 - Signed by JUDGE SUSAN OKI MOLLWAY on 12/19/2016. "(1) The Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2 ) & 1915A(b)(1). (2) Plaintiff may file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies noted above on or before January 19, 2017. (3) Failure to timely amend and cure the pleading deficiencies noted herein will result in dismissal o f this action with prejudice for failure to state a claim, and Plaintiff may incur a strike pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). (4) The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to mail Plaintiff a prisoner civil rights complaint form to assist him in compl ying with the directions in this Order. (5) Plaintiff's Motion for Counsel is DENIED without prejudice to refiling after he complies with the directions in this Order and files a satisfactory amended complaint." (emt, )CERTIFICATE OF SERVICEParticipants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Rhonda'e Quin'Ley shall be served by first class mail at the address of record on December 20, 2016. A copy of the court's Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint form shall be included in the mailing.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAII
WANDA CRAIG, ALTRES
STAFFING MEDICAL SERVICES, )
DEP’T OF PUBLIC SAFETY,
CIV. NO. 16-00550 SOM/KSC
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
AND DENYING MOTION FOR
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND
DENYING MOTION FOR COUNSEL
Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Rhonda’e
Quin’Ley’s prisoner civil rights Complaint brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Motion for Counsel.
ECF Nos. 1, 9.
Plaintiff names as Defendants the
Hawaii Department of Public Safety (“DPS”), the Kulani
Correctional Facility (“KCF”) Acting Warden Wanda Craig
(in her individual capacity), and unidentified Altres
Staffing Medical Services (“Altres”) personnel who are
employed at the Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”)1
(in their individual capacities).
that Defendants violated his rights under the First,
Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
This court DISMISSES the Complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
Plaintiff is granted leave to correct the
deficiencies in his pleading as detailed below.
Plaintiff’s Motion for Counsel is DENIED without
The court must screen all civil actions brought by
prisoners challenging prison conditions or seeking
redress from a governmental entity, officer, or
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
Complaints or claims
that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, or seek relief from a
For the purposes of the present Order, this court assumes
without deciding that nurses employed by a private company, such
as Altres, who provide medical services to inmates pursuant to a
contract with a state or municipality, are acting under color of
state law and subject to suit under § 1983. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 53-54 (1988).
defendant who is immune from suit must be dismissed.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e (c)(1).
A complaint that lacks a cognizable legal theory or
alleges insufficient facts under a cognizable legal
theory fails to state a claim.
Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
state a claim, a pleading must contain a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader
is entitled to relief.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).
does not mean the pleading must include detailed
factual allegations, but the pleading must have “more
than an unadorned, the-defendant- unlawfully-harmed-me
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
“[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.’”
Id. (quoting Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
That is, a pleading suffices “when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.”
The court must construe a pro se pleading liberally
to determine if it states a claim and, prior to
dismissal, explain the deficiencies in the complaint
and give the pro se plaintiff an opportunity to cure
them if the complaint’s defects can be corrected.
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en
banc); see also Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 &
n.7 (9th Cir. 2010) (stating that courts must continue
to construe pro se filings liberally even when
evaluating them under standard announced in Iqbal); but
cf. Sylvia Landfield Trust v. City of L.A., 729 F.3d
1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013) (holding dismissal with
prejudice proper when “it is clear that the complaint
could not be saved by any amendment”).
In late July or early August 2016, KCF prison
officials ordered Plaintiff to take a urinalysis test
while he was working outdoors.
Plaintiff is in his
sixties, has several chronic medical conditions, and
says he was drinking large amounts of water to stay
hydrated to prevent a stroke or heart attack while
working in the heat.
Plaintiff’s urinalysis tested
negative for drugs, but showed a “low-creatinine
Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #5.
that Warden Craig and the urinalysis officer told him
that drinking “enough water to stay properly hydrated”
could result in low creatinine levels, and that a low
creatinine level is sufficient to charge an inmate with
tampering with the test.
Id., PageID 35-6.
claims this is Warden Craig’s “own personal policy,”
meant “to punish the innocent with the guilty.”3
These facts are taken from the Complaint or publicly
available documents referenced in the Complaint and accepted as
true for the purposes of this Order.
The DPS Policy and Procedures Manual (“PPM”) defines
“Diluted urine” as any urine sample without sufficient creatinine
and states, “Urinary creatinine determination is also an
Plaintiff was charged with tampering with the test and
transferred to the KCF segregation unit.
Plaintiff says he has a medical memorandum allowing
him to keep Excedrin on his person to address the
severe pain that he often experiences late at night
from his chronic ankle and eye conditions.
He says KCF
officials took his Excedrin away for his first two days
in segregation, and thereafter the KCF nurses provided
it only on request.
Plaintiff says he was unable to
request the medication when he most required it,
however, because Warden Craig has a personal policy of
removing guards stationed outside of the segregation
unit from “late at night” until breakfast at 4:30 a.m.
Id., PageID #6.
Guards are posted within the same
building at all times, but it is unclear whether a
prisoner in the segregation unit can always reach them.
Plaintiff alleges that Warden Craig directed guards
to take his personal property when he was moved to
important parameter for evaluating the validity of a urine
specimen for drugs abuse detection.” See DPS PPM COR.08.10.3.7,
segregation and later transferred to HCF, including his
medication, legal papers, hygiene items, and medical
He says he was also denied “legal calls” while
in KCF segregation.
Id., PageID #7.
Plaintiff says his transfer from KCF to HCF
occurred on or about August 11, 2016.4
alleges that HCF Altres medical staff denied him any
pain medication for his first two weeks at HCF,
apparently while his personal effects were being sent
Finally, Plaintiff says he was told that he could
pay $23.00 to have a second urinalysis performed, and
that he would only be charged if the test returned
“positive for drugs.”
Id., PageId #9.
he was charged $46.00 for the second test, which was
not “positive for drugs,” although he had not agreed to
pay more than $23.00.
Plaintiff’s prison account, submitted with his in forma
pauperis application, appears to show that he transferred from
KCF to the Hawaii Community Correctional Center (“HCCC”) on or
about August 13, 2016, and transferred to HCF on or about August
17, 2016. See ECF No. 7, PageID #31.
Plaintiff seeks an order directing the DPS to stop
considering prisoners’ low-creatinine urinalysis
results as proof of tampering, and compensatory
“To sustain an action under section 1983, a
plaintiff must show ‘(1) that the conduct complained of
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law; and (2) that the conduct deprived the plaintiff of
a federal constitutional or statutory right.’”
v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 987 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation
omitted), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 556
U.S. 1256 (2009); see also West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
48 (1988); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Section 1983 also requires a connection between a
defendant’s actions and a plaintiff’s allegations.
Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658 (1978);
Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976).
‘subjects’ another to the deprivation of a
constitutional right, within the meaning of section
1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in
another’s affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act
which he is legally required to do that causes the
deprivation of which complaint is made.”
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978).
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
DPS is not a “person” subject to suit under § 1983.
Groten v. California, 251 F.3d 844, 851 (9th Cir. 2001)
(citing Hale v. Arizona, 993 F.2d 1387, 1398-99 (9th
Cir. 1993) (holding that state department of
corrections is arm of state, not “person” within
meaning of § 1983)).
Further, “the Eleventh Amendment bars suits for
money damages in federal court against a state, its
agencies, and state officials acting in their official
Aholelei v. Dep’t of Pub. Safety, 488
F.3d 1144, 1147 (9th Cir. 2007).
See Alabama v. Pugh,
438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978) (per curiam) (“There can be no
doubt . . . that [a] suit against the State and its
Board of Corrections is barred by the Eleventh
Amendment, unless [the State] has consented to the
filing of such a suit.”); Brown v. Cal. Dep’t of Corr.,
554 F.3d 747, 752 (9th Cir. 2009) (same).
Plaintiff’s claims against DPS are DISMISSED with
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b).
Plaintiff may, however, amend the Complaint not only to
continue to name Warden Smith in her individual
capacity, but also to add her in her official capacity
to preserve his claims for prospective injunctive
relief, subject to the limitations discussed below.
See Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Hardin,
223 F .3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2000) (recognizing
exception to Eleventh Amendment immunity “for
prospective declaratory and injunctive relief against
state officers, sued in their official capacities, to
enjoin an alleged ongoing violation of federal law”).
First Amendment Claims
Plaintiff broadly alleges that Warden Craig
violated the First Amendment when she allegedly
directed guards to confiscate his “legal papers” and
grievances and denied him “legal calls” in KCF
See Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #8.
Plaintiff has a constitutional right of access to
the courts, and prison officials may not interfere with
his right to litigate or seek redress of grievances.
See Silva v. Vittorio, 658 F.3d 1090, 1101-02 (9th Cir.
To state a claim of denial of access to the
courts, Plaintiff must allege that he suffered an
actual injury to that right.
This means Plaintiff must
allege that he was prejudiced with respect to
contemplated or existing litigation, such as the
inability to meet a filing deadline or present a
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 349
Plaintiff does not explain how Warden Craig
interfered with his active or contemplated litigation.
He states that he has brought only one other suit as a
prisoner, which was settled in 2005.5
able to commence the present action within two months
after he was transferred from KCF.
neither explains what he means by “legal calls,” nor
See Quin’ley v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 2:05-cv-00190 (N.D.
alleges that he was denied constitutionally required
contact with his attorney in a criminal proceeding
while he was confined at KCF.
Nor does Plaintiff
explain how the alleged denial of “legal calls”
prevented him from otherwise communicating with
individuals outside of the prison.
To the contrary,
Plaintiff asserts that he contacted the American Civil
Liberties Union and the Office of the Ombudsman
regarding his claims.
Plaintiff alleges nothing as to
how Warden Craig’s actions impaired his ability to
raise his present claims in court.
Finally, although Plaintiff says he was unable to
complete his grievances while he was still at KCF
because of his transfer to HCF,6 he states that, because
KCF officials failed to respond to “3 of the 3
grievances I wrote,” they defaulted and these
grievances are exhausted.
Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID
Extensions of time to submit a grievance are allowed if an
inmate is in transit between facilities and separated from
necessary documents. See DPS PPM COR.12.03.8.2, avail. at:
This indicates that Plaintiff grieved his KCF
claims to conclusion.7
These facts undercut Plaintiff’s allegation that
Warden Craig hampered his ability to litigate his
claims in this action or in another unidentified
Because the court cannot plausibly infer that
Warden Craig interfered with Plaintiff’s right of
access to the court, Plaintiff’s First Amendment claims
are DISMISSED with leave granted to Plaintiff to submit
an amended complaint.
Due Process Claims
Apparently asserting a due process violation,
Plaintiff broadly alleges that Defendants “perhaps even
[violated the] 5th and 14th Amendments.”
No. 1, PageID #5.
The Due Process Clause protects prisoners from
being deprived of liberty or property without due
process of law. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556
If a prison official fails to respond to a grievance
within forty working days, the grievance is considered exhausted
at that level. See DPS PPM, COR.12.03.10.8, avail. at:
To state a violation of due process, a
plaintiff must first establish the existence of a
liberty or property interest for which the protection
is sought, and if no protected interest is at stake, no
process is required.
See, e.g., Wilkinson v. Austin,
545 U.S. 209, 221 (2005); Ky. Dep’t of Corr. v.
Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 459-60 (1989); Meachum v. Fano,
427 U.S. 215, 223-24 (1976); McQuillion v. Duncan, 306
F.3d 895, 900 (9th Cir. 2002).
Liberty interests may arise from the Due Process
Clause itself or from state law.
Wilkinson, 545 U.S.
209 at 222-24; Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483-84
(1995) (“States may under certain circumstances create
liberty interests which are protected by the Due
While a liberty interest in avoiding particular
conditions of confinement may arise from state policies
or regulations, the touchstone of the inquiry into the
existence of a protected, state-created liberty
interest depends on the nature of those conditions
themselves in relation to the ordinary incidents of
Wilkinson, 545 U.S. at 222-23 (citing
Sandin, 515 U.S. at 484); Brown v. Or. Dep’t of Corr.,
751 F.3d 983, 987 (9th Cir. 2014).
that impose “atypical and significant hardship . . . in
relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life” give
rise to a protected state-created liberty interest.
Sandin, 515 U.S. at 484; Brown, 751 F.3d at 987.
First, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth
Amendment applies only to the federal government.
Bingue v. Prunchak, 512 F.3d 1169, 1174 (9th Cir.
To the extent Plaintiff cites the Fifth
Amendment in relation to his due process claims against
state officials, he cannot state a claim.
cannot be cured through an amended Complaint, and
Plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment claim is DISMISSED with
Second, if the challenged prison practice or
sanction is “within the normal limits or range of
custody which the conviction has authorized the State
to impose,” there is no direct liberty interest under
Meachum, 427 U.S. at 225.
Third, prisoners have no direct liberty interest in
freedom from transfer to another state, prison, unit,
See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 244-45
If Plaintiff alleges that his transfer from
KCT to HCF violated due process, and this is unclear,
he fails to state a claim.
Similarly, if Plaintiff
alleges his confinement in KCF segregated housing, in
and of itself, violated due process, he fails to state
See Serrano v. Francis, 345 F.3d 1071, 1078
(9th Cir. 2003); Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 466-68
(holding that Due Process Clause does not confer
liberty interest in being confined in general prison
population rather than administrative segregation).
For such confinement to trigger due process
protections, it must impose atypical and significant
hardship on the prisoner.
Fourth, to the extent Plaintiff contests the
fundamental fairness of Warden Craig’s “personal”
policy or a DPS policy that unequivocally equates
lowered creatinine levels with tampering, regardless of
an inmate’s explanation or special circumstances, he
fails to provide enough details regarding the incident
to state a claim.
That is, Plaintiff fails to allege
any facts showing that his disciplinary charge for
tampering with his urinalysis, which resulted in his
confinement in segregation at KCF and his later
transfer to HCF, imposed atypical or significant
hardships on him in comparison to the ordinary
incidents of prison life in administrative segregation
or in the general population at either prison.8
Further, even if Plaintiff alleges that he
experienced atypical and significant hardship due to an
allegedly incorrect tampering charge, he fails to
allege what process he was allegedly denied.
administrative segregation, prison officials must
It is not clear whether, apart from claiming a denial of
liberty, Plaintiff is alleging a violation of any property
interest relating to the transfer. He does not say that his
possessions were withheld atypically or longer than usual.
Plaintiff’s allegations that he was denied any pain medication
for two weeks at HCF are reviewed under the Eighth Amendment.
See Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 273 (1994) (stating, when
specific Amendment “provides an explicit textual source of
constitutional protection . . . that Amendment, not the more
generalized notion of ‘substantive due process,’ must be the
guide for analyzing these claims”) (quoting Graham v. Connor, 490
U.S. 386, 395 (1989)); Patel v. Penman, 103 F.3d 868, 874 (9th
provide minimal due process to an inmate, including
holding an informal nonadversarial hearing within a
reasonable time after segregation, notice of the
charges or reasons segregation is being considered, and
an opportunity for the inmate to present his views.
Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1100 (9th Cir.
1986), overruled on other grounds by Sandin, 515 U.S.
Plaintiff admits that he discussed the incident
with Warden Craig before he was transferred to HCF,
when she explained why he had been charged with
tampering and allegedly told him “she was going to
punish the innocent with the guilty - it was her own
Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #5.
also appears that Plaintiff was able to contest the
charges via grievances before his transfer.
Finally, to the extent Plaintiff alleges that DPS
officials violated a DPS policy stating that an inmate
will be charged for a confirming drug test only if it
is positive for drugs, he fails to state a claim.
alleges that he was charged twice for a negative drug
test, but the unauthorized deprivation of property by a
prison official, whether intentional or negligent, does
not state a claim under § 1983 if the state provides an
adequate post-deprivation remedy.
See Hudson v.
Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984).
Hawaii law provides
such an adequate post-deprivation remedy.
Rev. Stat. § 662-2; cf. Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d
813, 816–17 (9th Cir. 1994) (per curiam) (analyzing
prisoner’s due process claim under California’s tort
Only an intentional and authorized
deprivation of property constitutes an actionable
§ 1983 claim under the Due Process Clause.9
has a state law remedy for this allegedly unauthorized
Plaintiff’s due process claims as alleged under the
Fourteenth Amendment are DISMISSED with leave to amend.
Eighth Amendment Claims
The Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from
inhumane conditions of confinement.
511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
Farmer v. Brennan,
A claim of inhumane
An authorized deprivation is one carried out pursuant to
established state procedures, regulations, or statutes. Piatt v.
McDougall, 773 F.2d 1032, 1036 (9th Cir. 1985).
conditions of confinement has both an objective and a
See id. at 834.
deprivation alleged must be . . . sufficiently serious”
and must “result in the denial of the minimal civilized
measure of life’s necessities.”
deprivations are required to make out a
Hudson v. McMillian,
503 U.S. 1, 9 (1992).
Second, the prison official must have acted with
“deliberate indifference” to a substantial risk of
serious harm to the inmate.
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834.
“Mere negligence is not sufficient to establish
Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 1128 (9th
Rather, a plaintiff must set forth facts
to show that a defendant knew of, but disregarded, an
excessive risk to inmate safety.
Farmer, 511 U.S. at
That is, “the official must both be aware of
facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must
also draw the inference.”
Plaintiff claims Warden Craig was deliberately
indifferent to his health when she (1) told him that
drinking “enough water to stay properly hydrated” might
alter his creatinine levels and indicate that he was
attempting to tamper with his urinalysis; and (2)
failed to post guards directly outside of the KCF
segregation unit from “late at night” until 4:30 in the
morning, preventing Plaintiff from requesting Excedrin
during that period.
Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #5-6.
First, Warden Craig’s explanation of DPS policy
regarding low creatinine levels in inmate drug tests
did not deprive Plaintiff of water, exacerbate his
chronic medical conditions, or put his life in danger.
Second, Plaintiff fails to allege sufficient facts
to show that Warden Craig’s policy of posting guards in
the same building as the KCF segregation unit but not
requiring them to remain directly outside the
segregation unit from “late at night” until 4:30 a.m.,
violated the Eighth Amendment by denying him access to
Excedrin for several hours.
To state a delay or denial of medical care claim, a
plaintiff must show that the defendant acted with
“deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.”
Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006)
(quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)).
“Deliberate indifference is a high legal standard.”
Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1060 (9th Cir. 2004).
Deliberate indifference in the medical context may be
shown by a purposeful act or failure to respond to a
prisoner’s pain or possible medical need and harm
caused by the indifference.
Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096.
Deliberate indifference may also be shown when a prison
official intentionally denies, delays, or interferes
with medical treatment or by the way prison medical
personnel respond to a prisoner’s medical needs.
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104-05; Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096.
The court accepts for the purposes of this Order
that Plaintiff’s chronic eye and ankle ailments
constitute objectively serious medical conditions.
Plaintiff nonetheless fails to allege facts showing
that Warden Craig was aware of and acted with
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s medical
conditions when she failed to assign a guard to remain
directly outside of the KCF segregation area.
Plaintiff appears to be complaining that this was
Warden Craig’s long-standing scheduling policy, but he
does not support that complaint with sufficient factual
Plaintiff does not explain when and how Warden
Craig was alerted to his medical issues and alleged
inability to access medically required pain relief.
fails to define “late at night,” indicate how many
hours he waited for Excedrin, or how many times this
He does not explain why he was unable to ask
for Excedrin before guards left the segregation unit,
once he was aware that this was standard procedure.
Plaintiff also fails to allege whether guards patroled
the segregation unit during the intervening hours, or
if he was able to alert guards or anyone else if there
was any type of emergency.
Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims as alleged
against Warden Craig are DISMISSED with leave granted
HCF Altres Medical Services Staff
Plaintiff alleges that, after he transferred to
HCF, HCF Altres medical staff nurses “flatly refused
[to provide him] ‘any’ type of pain relief” for two
weeks, despite his oral and written requests for
Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #7.
While this claim is sufficient to survive the “low
threshold” needed to proceed past the sua sponte
screening required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A(b), see Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1123
(9th Cir. 2012), Plaintiff fails to tie these
allegations to any specific individual defendant.
That is, Plaintiff fails to assert factual allegations
putting any individual HCF Altres medical staff on
notice that his or her individual acts or omissions
violated Plaintiff’s federal rights.
See Jones v.
Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002) (explaining
that under § 1983, a plaintiff must demonstrate that
each defendant personally participated in the
deprivation of his rights) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
Plaintiff fails to detail when he asked for pain
relief, to whom he made these requests, and what any
individual HCF medical worker responded to his
It is unclear whether Plaintiff was told he
“had to wait” until a medical appointment could be
scheduled, or a doctor could prescribe pain relief, or
if he is complaining that his personal Excedrin did not
arrive with his belongings from KCF for two weeks.
“As a general rule, the use of ‘John Doe’ or ‘Jane
Doe’ to identify a defendant is not favored.”
Gillespie v. Civiletti, 629 F.2d 637, 642 (9th Cir.
This is because the United States Marshall
cannot serve an unknown defendant.
While a plaintiff
may refer to unknown defendants as Defendant John Doe
1, John Doe 2, John Doe 3, and so on, he must allege
facts to support how each individual Doe defendant
violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
plaintiff provides such details, he may then use the
discovery processes to obtain the names of any Doe
defendants he believes violated his constitutional
rights and seek leave to amend his complaint to name
those defendants, unless discovery will not uncover the
identities, or the complaint would be dismissed on
Wakefield v. Thompson, 117 F.3d 1160,
1163 (9th Cir. 1999) (further citation omitted).
Plaintiff fails to state a claim against Doe
Defendants HCF Altres medical staff, and these claims
are DISMISSED without prejudice.
If Plaintiff decides to amend his claims to comply
with the court’s directions, he is notified that he
must explain why the events he challenges at KCF are
directly related to the alleged violations he later
experienced at HCF.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
litigant may not raise unrelated claims involving
different defendants in a single action.
lawsuit is a single claim against a single defendant.
Rule 18 allows a plaintiff to add multiple claims to
the lawsuit when those claims are alleged against the
Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a).
allows a plaintiff to add multiple parties to a lawsuit
when the right to relief arises out of the “same
transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or
Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2)(A).
Unrelated claims that involve different defendants
must be brought in separate lawsuits.
See Owens v.
Hinsley, 653 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011); George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007); Coughlin v.
Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1350-51 (9th Cir. 1997);
Washington v. Cal. Dep’t of Corr., 2016 WL 6599812, at
*1 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 7, 2016); Tagle v. Nev. Dep’t of
Corr., 2016 WL 910174, at *2 (D. Nev. March 9, 2016).
Requiring litigants to raise discrete and unrelated
claims against different parties in separate lawsuits
prevents confusion of the issues and parties that often
arises from such shotgun lawsuits.
It also ensures
that prisoners pay the required filing fees for their
lawsuits and prevents them from circumventing the
three-strikes rule set forth under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”).
See George, 507 F.3d
at 607; see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) (setting forth
The court may sever misjoined
parties as long as no substantial right is prejudiced
Coughlin, 130 F.3d at 1350.
Although KCF Warden Craig and the HCF Altres
medical staff are both employed at DPS facilities,
their discrete acts are alleged to have occurred in two
different DPS facilities and at different times, and
are not alleged to have been taken pursuant to DPS
These claims as written appear too attenuated
to be considered the same transaction and occurrence.
LEAVE TO AMEND
The Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b);
42 U.S.C. § 1997e (c)(1).
Plaintiff may file an
amended complaint on or before January 19, 2017, that
cures the deficiencies noted in this Order.
amended pleading must comply with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and the Local Rules for the District of
An amended complaint generally supersedes the
See Ramirez v. Cty. of San
Bernadino, 806 F.3d 1002, 1008 (9th Cir. 2015).
court will not refer to the original pleading to make
an amended complaint complete, although it will not
ignore contradictory statements of fact between an
original and amended complaint.
Local Rule 10.3
further requires that an amended complaint be complete
in itself without reference to any prior pleading.
Defendants not named in the caption and claims
dismissed without prejudice that are not realleged in
an amended complaint may be deemed voluntarily
See Lacey v. Maricopa Cty., 693 F.3d 896,
928 (9th Cir. 2012) (“[C]laims dismissed with prejudice
[need not] be repled in a[n] amended complaint to
preserve them for appeal. . . . [but] claims [that are]
voluntarily dismissed [are] . . . waived if not
In an amended complaint, each claim and the
involvement of each Defendant must be sufficiently
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)
Plaintiff is notified that under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(g), a prisoner may not bring a civil action or
appeal a civil judgment in forma pauperis under 28
U.S.C. § 1915
if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior
occasions, while incarcerated or detained in
any facility, brought an action or appeal in a
court of the United States that was dismissed
on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, unless the prisoner is under
imminent danger of serious physical injury.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
If Plaintiff fails to cure the
noted deficiencies in his Complaint through amendment,
this action will be terminated and may be considered a
The Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) &
(2) Plaintiff may file an amended complaint curing
the deficiencies noted above on or before January 19,
(3) Failure to timely amend and cure the pleading
deficiencies noted herein will result in dismissal of
this action with prejudice for failure to state a
claim, and Plaintiff may incur a strike pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g).
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to mail
Plaintiff a prisoner civil rights complaint form to
assist him in complying with the directions in this
(5) Plaintiff’s Motion for Counsel is DENIED
without prejudice to refiling after he complies with
the directions in this Order and files a satisfactory
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Honolulu, Hawaii, December 19, 2016.
/s/ Susan Oki Mollway
Susan Oki Mollway
United States District Judge
Quin’Ley v. Craig, 1:16-cv-00550 SOM/KSC; Scrn 2016 Quinley 16-550 som (dsm lv amd dny
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