The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, DISMISSING CLAIMS WITH AND WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND AND FOR SERVICE OF COMPLAINT (Docket no. 2)
Plaintiff Eddie J. Streeter, Jr., is a prisoner of the State of California who is confined at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville (CMF). He has filed this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Venue is proper in this district because the acts complained of occurred when Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Santa Clara County Main Jail (SCCMJ), which is in Santa Clara County. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
Plaintiff alleges that SCCMJ officials, employed by the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections (DOC), deliberately placed him in a cell with a violent and mentally ill inmate and ignored his ongoing expressions of concern for his personal safety in retaliation for his having objected to his housing placement. Plaintiff was attacked by his cellmate and stabbed three times in the face. Plaintiff alleges that jail officials deliberately refused to come to his aid in a timely manner, and when they arrived they could not enter his cell immediately because they had refused to respond to his ongoing complaints that the lock on his cell door did not work properly and placed him in danger. Jail officials also delayed Plaintiff's transportation to Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center (VMC), stopping along the way to conduct personal business. After treatment at VMC, which included receiving thirty-seven sutures, Plaintiff was returned to SCCMJ, but jail officials deliberately refused to comply with the doctor's orders to place Plaintiff in the hospital ward and provide appropriate follow-up care.
Plaintiff pursued his claims through the DOC administrative grievance process and also filed a claim with the Santa Clara County Employee Services Agency, Department of Risk Management/Insurance Division, which was rejected. He also contacted the California Inspector General's Office and was informed that they could not pursue a claim on his behalf.
In this action, Plaintiff alleges the violation of his First and Eighth Amendment rights and supplemental State tort law claims. He seeks declaratory relief and damages.
To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 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). "'[A] complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'" Terracom v. Valley National Bank, 49 F.3d 555, 558 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).
Plaintiff states cognizable claims for retaliation, deliberate indifference to safety needs and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. The Court also will assert jurisdiction over Plaintiff's supplemental State law tort claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
Liability may be imposed on an individual defendant under § 1983 only if the plaintiff can show that the defendant proximately caused the deprivation of a federally protected right. See Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988). The inquiry into causation must be individualized and focus on the duties and responsibilities of each individual defendant whose acts or omissions are alleged to have caused a constitutional deprivation. Id. at 633. Sweeping conclusory allegations will not suffice; the plaintiff must instead "set forth specific facts as to each individual defendant's" deprivation of protected rights. Id. at 634.
Of the numerous Defendants Plaintiff names, the only ones who have been linked directly to his allegations are Classification Committee members Robinson, Calderone and Osborn, and "Doe 6," a Custody Officer referred to as "Cowboy." Plaintiff alleges that he told these Defendants of his concerns for his safety and asked to be rehoused but they refused to do so. Accordingly, his claims against these Defendants are cognizable. As discussed below, however, ...