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East v. Lewis

January 22, 2010

EBONE LEROY EAST, PLAINTIFF,
v.
K. LEWIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: George H. WU United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

For the reasons discussed below, the First Amended Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A; 1915(e)(2)(B); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is a state detainee at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino, California (the "WVDC"). Plaintiff was convicted on April 14, 2009, of violating California criminal law. Plaintiff filed a pro se civil rights action on January 26, 2009, against San Bernardino Sheriff Deputies K. Lewis, Mondragon, and Grizzle, and against WVDC Psychotherapist Christina Wooder.

The Complaint asserted three claims for relief. In Claims 1 and 2, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Wooder voluntarily disclosed assertedly privileged information that Plaintiff had provided to Defendant Wooder concerning Plaintiff's mental condition. Plaintiff alleged that this information was used to reclassify him as "assaultive," and to move him to a housing unit where he is locked down 23.5 hours per day and fed sometimes only twice per day. Plaintiff further alleged he has been denied medication that he has requested to treat his alleged mental illness. Plaintiff alleged that these actions subjected Plaintiff to cruel and unusual punishment based on his mental disability, in asserted violation of his Eighth Amendment rights (Complaint, pp. 3-4).

In Claim 3, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants Lewis, Mondragon and Grizzle used excessive force by slamming Plaintiff on his bunk, twisting Plaintiff's left arm causing injury, choking Plaintiff, and twisting Plaintiff's leg. Plaintiff alleged that the deputies then dragged him out of his cell and threw him on the floor. Plaintiff claimed he received a busted lip and minor bruising to his left arm and face. Plaintiff also claimed he required an x-ray of his injured arm, but that no x-ray was performed (Complaint, p. 5).

On April 27, 2009, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order dismissing the Complaint with leave to amend. On May 12, 2009, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint.

SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

The First Amended Complaint names as Defendants San Bernardino Sheriff Deputies K. Lewis and Mondragon, and WVDC Psychotherapist Christina "Woodwer," each in their individual and official capacities (Complaint, p. 2). Like the original Complaint, the First Amended Complaint asserts three claims for relief.

In Claims 1 and 2, Plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of his federally-protected rights (i.e., Plaintiff's right to due process, free speech, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment) by Defendant Woodwer voluntarily disclosing assertedly privileged information that Plaintiff had provided to Defendant Woodwer concerning Plaintiff's mental condition. Plaintiff alleged that this information was used to reclassify him as "assaultive," and to move him to a maximum security housing unit which purportedly has subjected Plaintiff to cruel and unusual punishment.*fn1 Plaintiff further alleges he was assaulted by unnamed jail staff due to his reclassification status. Finally, Plaintiff alleges he was denied access to the courts by the San Bernardino County Superior Court's denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. See First Amended Complaint, p. 3 and attachment thereto (San Bernardino County Superior Court Order).

In Claim 3, Plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of his federally-protected rights (i.e., Plaintiff's right to due process, free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment) by: (1) having been denied access to medical care for three months;*fn2 (2) having been denied the right to attend church services and to participate in correctional facility programs due to his inmate classification; (3) being housed in a "no razor" unit; and (4) being choked by jail staff. Plaintiff has identified no defendants in Claim 3. See First Amended Complaint, p. 4.

The request for relief seeks an injunction preventing the Defendants from working in the same unit where Plaintiff is housed. Plaintiff does not explain how the requested injunctive relief relates to the claims alleged. Plaintiff also seeks $1.2 million in compensatory damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages. Plaintiff also asks for a written apology. See First Amended Complaint, p. 6.

DISCUSSION

As the Court previously explained, since Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding on a civil rights complaint naming governmental defendants and addressing conditions in a correctional facility, the Court must screen the Complaint and dismiss any claims that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A ("prisoner" complaints against government defendants by detained persons accused of crimes); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c) (complaints regarding "prison" conditions by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility); see also Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1154 (1999) ("The statutory authority is clear: 'the court shall dismiss the case at any ...


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