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Ortega v. CSP-SAC Prison Officials

July 6, 2010

LAZARUS ORTEGA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CSP-SAC PRISON OFFICIALS; WALKER, REYES, WILLIAMSON DEASON, HUTCHINGS, COSTA DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Oki Mollway Chief United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

Pro se Plaintiff Lazarus Ortega says that his cellmate attacked him while he was in his prison cell. Ortega says that prison officers, despite having been warned that Ortega's cellmate was dangerous and knowing that Ortega sought to be transferred, failed to take action. Ortega claims that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his safety, and that the Wardens improperly trained and supervised those prison officials. Defendant J. Walker, the Correctional Warden, and Defendant M. Reyes, the Associate Warden, move to dismiss. This court grants their motion in part.*fn1

II. BACKGROUND FACTS

Ortega says that he was housed with a mentally ill inmate, who had, on numerous occasions, threatened Ortega. First Amend. Compl. ¶ 10.

Ortega says that, on November 8, 2006, he left his cell to meet with Costa, his case manager. Id. ¶¶ 10-11. On the way to his meeting, Ortega asked Deason, a Correctional Officer, if he could be moved to another cell because his cellmate had threatened to kill him. Id. ¶¶ 12, 13.

Ortega says Deason responded that he did not do cell moves on Fridays (even though November 8, 2006 was a Wednesday), and that Ortega should talk to Hutchings, another Correctional Officer. Id. ¶ 13. Ortega went to Hutchings, explained his situation, and asked to be moved out of his cell. Id. ¶¶ 14-15. According to Ortega, Hutchings said that a cell move was impossible, as there were no vacant cells. Id. ¶ 15. When Ortega noted that there was one cell available, Hutchings responded that the cell had a plumbing problem. Id. ¶ 15.

Ortega met with Costa and told Costa that he did not feel safe because of his cellmate. Id. ¶ 17. Costa responded that he lacked authority to take action. Id.

Ortega says that, the next day, he again asked Hutchings to move him to a different cell. Id. ¶ 18. Ortega says that Hutchings "disregarded" his safety concerns and "refused to act." Id. Ortega then asked Sergeant Williamson if he could transfer cells. Id. ¶ 19. Ortega allegedly explained to Williamson that he feared for his life. Id. ¶ 20. According to Ortega, Williamson "disregarded [Ortega's] threatening situation and refused to do anything about it." Id. ¶ 21.

After Ortega returned to his cell, his cellmate allegedly attacked him by slamming a television on his head. Id. ¶ 23. Ortega says he suffered severe injuries. Id. ¶ 24.

Ortega filed suit in 2008. He brings two § 1983 claims, arguing that Defendants failed to protect him, and that the Wardens (Reyes and Walker) failed to properly train and supervise the other Defendants. Reyes and Walker move to dismiss, arguing that Ortega has not exhausted administrative remedies, and that he has not alleged sufficient facts to support his second § 1983 claim. This court gave Ortega until June 14, 2010, to file an opposition. On June 1, 2010, Ortega filed a motion for appointment of counsel. This court denied the motion, emphasizing that his opposition was still due by June 14, 2010. Ortega has not filed any opposition.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, all allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Fed'n of African Am. Contractors v. City of Oakland, 96 F.3d 1204, 1207 (9th Cir. 1996). However, conclusory allegations of law, unwarranted deductions of fact, and unreasonable inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001).

To withstand a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim has "facial plausibility" if the plaintiff pleads facts that allow "the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1940 (2009). Although on a motion to dismiss the court must accept all well-pled factual allegations as true, "[t]hread-bare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere ...


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