Silva v. Western State Hospital et al

Filing 4

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE. The Court declines to grant Plaintiff's 1 application to proceed in forma pauperis at this time because of the deficiencies identified above. However, Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint curing the note d deficiencies by July 30, 2024. The Clerk shall re-note this matter on the Court's calendar for July 30, 2024. Signed by Judge Theresa L Fricke. (Attachments: # 1 1983 Form)**16 PAGE(S), PRINT ALL**(Mark Silva, Prisoner ID: 794020)(MW)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 4 5 6 MARK ALLEN SILVA, 7 8 9 v. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Plaintiff, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WESTERN STATE HOSPITAL and STATE OF WASHINGTON, 10 11 Case No. 3:24-cv-05498-JCC-TLF Defendants. This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis in his civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. 1. The Court has screened Plaintiff’s complaint in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and concludes that Plaintiff has not adequately stated any claim upon which relief may be granted. However, the Court deems it appropriate to grant Plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended complaint correcting, to the extent possible, the deficiencies identified below by July 30, 2024. DISCUSSION Plaintiff asserts in his complaint that after he was sent to Western State Hospital, he was forced to take a particular medication, after the medication was administered, it caused a rash on his face and discomfort. Dkt. 1 at 4-5. Plaintiff alleges the rash continues to resurface to date. Plaintiff further states he was underfed and the showers were “set on a very low temperature.” Id. at 6. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages, as 25 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE - 1 1 well as an order from the Court ordering the State to retrain its staff and to order more 2 food. 3 A. Screening Standards 4 Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that in order for a 5 pleading to state a claim for relief it must contain a short and plain statement of the 6 grounds for the court’s jurisdiction, a short and plain statement of the claim showing that 7 the pleader is entitled to relief, and a demand for the relief sought. The statement of the 8 claim must be sufficient to “give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is 9 and the grounds upon which it rests.” Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). The 10 factual allegations of a complaint must be “enough to raise a right to relief above the 11 speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In addition, 12 a complaint must allege facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. 13 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). 14 In order to sustain a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must 15 show that (1) he suffered a violation of rights protected by the Constitution or created by 16 federal statute, and (2) the violation was proximately caused by a person acting under 17 color of state law. See Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The 18 causation requirement of § 1983 is satisfied only if a plaintiff demonstrates that a 19 defendant did an affirmative act, participated in another’s affirmative act, or omitted to 20 perform an act which he was legally required to do that caused the deprivation 21 complained of. Arnold v. Int’l Bus. Mach. Corp., 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981) 22 (citing Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978)). “The inquiry into 23 causation must be individualized and focus on the duties and responsibilities of each 24 25 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE - 2 1 individual defendant whose acts or omissions are alleged to have caused a 2 constitutional deprivation.” Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988). 3 4 B. Deficiencies a. Defendants State of Washington and Western State Hospital 5 Plaintiff names Western State Hospital and the State of Washington as the only 6 defendants. The Eleventh Amendment bars federal actions against a state brought by 7 its own citizens, whether the relief sought is legal or equitable. See U.S. Const. Amend. 8 XI; Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 662–63 (1974) (“While the Amendment by its 9 terms does not bar suits against a State by its own citizens, this Court has consistently 10 held that an unconsenting State is immune from suits brought in federal courts by her 11 own citizens as well as by citizens of another State.”). “State agencies are similarly 12 immune.” Spokane Cty. Deputy Sheriffs Ass'n v. State of Washington Dep't of Emp. 13 Sec., 317 F. App'x 599, 600–01 (9th Cir. 2008). However, “[a] state may waive its 14 immunity if it voluntarily invokes the jurisdiction of a federal court or if it makes a ‘clear 15 declaration’ that it intends to submit itself to federal court jurisdiction.” In re Harleston, 16 331 F.3d 699, 701 (9th Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). 17 Here, there is no indication Washington State or Western State Hospital, a state 18 entity, has waived sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. Furthermore, 19 Western State Hospital is not a “person” under § 1983. Therefore, the Court finds 20 Plaintiff cannot state a claim upon which relief can be granted as to Western State 21 Hospital. See Abdullah-El v. King Cnty. Mun. Ct., 2015 WL 402792, at *3 (W.D. Wash. 22 Jan. 28, 2015) (finding Western State Hospital is a state entity that is immune from suit); 23 Banks v. Washington, 2009 WL 3831539, at *3 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 13, 2009) (finding 24 25 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE - 3 1 Western State Hospital is not a “person” under § 1983 and, therefore, not capable of 2 being sued). 3 If Plaintiff wishes to purse this action, he may file a proposed amended complaint 4 and identify individual persons acting under color of state law who caused the harm 5 alleged in his complaint. 6 7 b. Cruel and Unusual Punishment Plaintiff asserts that he has been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment 8 (Dkt. 1-1, at 5), a claim which implicates his rights under the Eighth Amendment. The 9 Eighth Amendment imposes a duty upon prison officials to provide humane conditions 10 of confinement. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). This duty includes 11 ensuring that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care, and 12 taking reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of inmates. Id. In order to establish 13 an Eighth Amendment violation, a prisoner must satisfy a two-part test containing both 14 an objective and a subjective component. The Eighth Amendment standard requires 15 proof that: (1) the alleged wrongdoing was objectively “harmful enough” to establish a 16 constitutional violation; and (2) the prison official acted with a sufficiently culpable state 17 of mind. Id. at 834. 18 Plaintiff does not allege in his complaint facts suggesting that, at the time of the 19 events alleged in his proposed complaint, he was an inmate incarcerated in a prison. He 20 only alleges that he was “sent to Western State”. Dkt. 1-1 at 4. Nor does he allege facts 21 demonstrating that any specific individual(s) personally participated in causing such 22 harm. Plaintiff therefore fails to allege any plausible claim for relief under the Eighth 23 Amendment. 24 25 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE - 4 1 2 3 CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing, the Court ORDERS as follows: 1) The Court declines to grant Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis at 4 this time because of the deficiencies identified above. However, Plaintiff is 5 granted leave to file an amended complaint curing the noted deficiencies by July 6 30, 2024. The amended complaint must carry the same case number as this 7 one. If no amended complaint is timely filed, or if Plaintiff fails to correct the 8 deficiencies identified above, the Court will recommend that this action be 9 dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and 28 U.S.C. § 10 11 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 2) Plaintiff is advised that an amended pleading operates as a complete substitute 12 for an original pleading. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 13 1992) (citing Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 14 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1990) (as amended)). Thus, any amended complaint must 15 clearly identify the Defendant(s), the constitutional claim(s) asserted, the specific 16 facts which Plaintiff believes support each claim, and the specific relief 17 requested. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE - 5 1 3) The Clerk shall re-note this matter on the Court’s calendar for July 30, 2024, for 2 review of Plaintiff’s amended complaint. The Clerk is directed to send Plaintiff 3 the appropriate forms so that he may file an amended complaint. 4 5 Dated this 3rd day of July, 2024. 6 7 A 8 Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE - 6

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