United States District Court, N.D. California
March 11, 2004.
LEM L. MOORE, Plaintiffs
CHARLES PLUMMER, Sheriff, et al., Defendant(s)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES BREYER, District Judge
ORDER OF DISMISSAL (Doc # 2)
Plaintiff, a sentenced prisoner at the Alameda County Jail, Santa
Rita Facility, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint for damages
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that on January 14, 2004 Deputy Enos
wrote him up and placed him in the "east isolation cell" until Deputy
Rodriguez let him out the next morning. Plaintiff claims that his
confinement in the isolation cell for over 15 hours amounted to "cruel
and unusual punishment."
Plaintiff also seeks to proceed in forma pauperis under
28 U.S.C. § 1915.
A. Standard of Review
Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which
prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must
claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint,
if the complaint "is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted," or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief" Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se
pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police
Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege
two elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was
committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
B. Legal Claims
Although the Eighth Amendment protects against cruel and unusual
punishment, this does not mean that federal courts can or should
interfere whenever prisoners are inconvenienced or suffer de minimis
injuries. See, e.g., Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9-10
(1992) (8th Amendment excludes from constitutional recognition de minimis
uses of force). Plaintiff's allegation that he was placed in an isolation
cell for over 15 hours will be dismissed under this rationale
plaintiff's injuries, if any, were de minimis. Accord Anderson v.
County of Kern, 45 F.3d 1310, 1314-15 (9th Cir. 1995) (temporary
placement in safety cell did not constitute infliction of pain actionable
under 8th Amendment).
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff's request to proceed in forma
pauperis (doc # 2) is DENIED and the complaint is DISMISSED. The Clerk
shall close the file and terminate all motions as moot. No fee is due.
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