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Williams v. Schwarzenegger

March 31, 2009

LLOYD WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS (Doc. 1.) ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION ORDER FOR CLERK TO SEND COMPLAINT FORM TO PLAINTIFF SCREENING ORDER

I. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Lloyd Williams ("plaintiff") is a state prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on January 22, 2009. Within the body of the complaint, plaintiff brings a motion for a background investigation to be conducted. The original complaint and plaintiff's motion for a background investigation are now before the court.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action or appeal... fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard... applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is currently housed at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison ("SATF") in Corcoran, California. In the complaint, plaintiff names as defendants Arnold Schwarzenegger (Governor), Ken Clark (Warden), Anthony Enenmoh (Chief Medical Officer), Gail Martinez (Health Care Manager), C. M. Heck (AGPA/ADA Unit), Sandra Sofiniski (Ophthalmology), Captain R. Fisher, Jr., G. Miller (Appeals Coordinator ("AC")), M. Crum (AC), R. Hall (AC), R. Gamez (AC), Dr. Tang, Dr. Mostafa Rahimi, S. Ymi (AC), Kings County, and Dr. Sampath Suryadevara (Chief Medical Officer). Plaintiff's allegations are based on events occurring at SATF.

Plaintiff's complaint speaks in generalities and recites conclusions with very few supporting facts. Plaintiff alleges that on September 23, 2008, he made medical staff at SATF aware of his ongoing medical needs. He alleges he suffers from diabetes, asthma, sinus problems, a right shoulder injury, a right lower calf with a bullet, and a lower back injury. Plaintiff claims that the meals he is served at SATF consist largely of starchy foods which are "poison" to him as a diabetic. He states he is challenging a pattern of conduct whereby prison officials have ignored his dietary and medical concerns.

Plaintiff alleges that medical staff are responsible for his healing from surgery. He alleges that Governor Schwarzenegger, who is responsible for the well-being and custody of each California prisoner, breached a Governor Contract while maintaining the prison system. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gail Martinez, a health care manager, did not take his complaints into consideration. He states that he is suing Kings County for letting the State of California approve the contract to build a state facility on Kings County land. Plaintiff also alleges that defendant Dr. Sampath Suryadevara was negligent and violated state policy during her employment.

Plaintiff suffers from anxiety and fear of jeopardizing his health. Plaintiff requests monetary damages and injunctive relief.

IV. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: Every person who, under color of [state law]... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States... to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution... shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

42 U.S.C. § 1983. "Section 1983... creates a cause of action for violations of the federal Constitution and laws." Sweeney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385, 1391 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotations omitted). "To the extent that the violation of a state law amounts to the deprivation of a state-created interest that reaches beyond that guaranteed by the federal Constitution, Section 1983 offers no redress." Id.

A. Linkage Requirement

Section 1983 plainly requires that there be an actual connection or link between the actions of the defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered by plaintiff. See Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976). "A person deprives another of a constitutional right, where that person 'does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which [that person] is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made.'" Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 988 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)). "[T]he 'requisite causal connection can be established not only by some kind of direct, personal participation in the deprivation, but also by setting in motion a series of acts by others which the actor knows or reasonably should know would cause others to inflict the constitutional injury.'" Id. (quoting Johnson at 743-44).

Plaintiff does not link any affirmative act or omission to act by defendants Clark, Enenmoh, Heck, Sofiniski, Risher, Miller, Crum, Hall, Gamez, Tang, Rahini, or Ymi to the deprivation he alleges to have suffered. Therefore, plaintiff does not allege any facts giving rise to any cognizable ...


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