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Lee v. Alameida

June 29, 2010

NORRIS LEE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
E. ALAMEIDA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS (Doc. 36) OBJECTION DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

Findings and Recommendations Following Screening of Second Amended Complaint

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on the March 23, 1010, second amended complaint. The second amended complaint follows orders finding that the original complaint and first amended complaint stated a claim against certain defendants.

Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at CSP Corcoran, brings this civil rights action against defendant correctional officials employed by the CDCR at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility at Corcoran (SATF). Plaintiff names the following individual defendants: E. Alameida, former Director of the CDCR; Derral Adams, Warden at SATF; R. March, Chief Deputy Warden; William Duncan; Lieutenant Abbati-Harlow; Captain Mark Johnson; Sergeant T. Akin; Correctional Officers M. Ramirez; E. Hough; Garcia and M. White. The claims in the second amended complaint stem from two assaults on Plaintiff by other inmates. The first occurred on July 5, 2000, and the second on July 10, 2000.

In the order granting Plaintiff leave to file a first amended complaint, the Court noted that the original complaint stated a claim for relief as to Defendant Johnson and Defendant Kellams for a violation of the Eighth Amendment.*fn1 Plaintiff was specifically advised that he failed to state a claim against the supervisory defendants, and that his claims for failure to train and retaliation also failed.

In the order screening the first amended complaint, Plaintiff largely re-stated the allegations of the original complaint. The Court specifically noted that "Plaintiff has stated a claim for relief against Defendant Garcia for excessive force, and Abbati-Harlow for deliberate indifference. Plaintiff failed to correct the identified deficiencies as to the remaining defendants. Plaintiff sought leave to file a second amended complaint, which was granted on February 3, 2010.

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. Plaintiff's Claims

A. Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from inhumane methods of punishment and from inhumane conditions of confinement. Morgan v. Morgensen, 465 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2006). Extreme deprivations are required to make out a conditions of confinement claim, and only those deprivations denying the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities are sufficiently grave to form the basis of an Eighth Amendment violation. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9, 112 S.Ct. 995 (1992) (citations and quotations omitted). In order to state a claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment, the plaintiff must alleges facts sufficient to support a claim that prison officials knew of and disregarded a substantial risk of serious harm to the plaintiff. e.g., Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,847, 114 S.Ct. 1970 (1994); Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 1128 (9th Cir. 1998).

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Hough, Garcia and White failed to protect Plaintiff, who was in protective custody. As a result, Plaintiff claims he suffered physical injury by inmates Pates and Fuller. Plaintiff has stated a claim for relief as to Defendants Hough, Garcia and ...


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