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MOORE v. PLUMMER

United States District Court, N.D. California


March 11, 2004.

LEM L. MOORE, Plaintiffs
v.
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.

  DISCUSSION

 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 identify cognizable Page 2 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).

  CONCLUSION

  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.

20040311

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