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Lawson v. Youngblood

November 12, 2010

RICHARD ALAN LAWSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHERIFF DONALD YOUNGBLOOD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF. No. 1.) FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Richard Alan Lawson ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") and is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 filed on June 8, 2009. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's consent to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction was filed June 18, 2009 (ECF. No. 5.), and his Complaint is now before the Court for screening. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

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).

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)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Men ("CIM") in Chino, California, brings this action alleging violation of his constitutional right to adequate medical care and to be free from excessive force. The events of which he complains occurred on October 2, 2008 at the Kern County Jail Central Receiving Facility. Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants: Donald Youngblood (Sheriff), John Doe (Deputy Sheriff Sargent), John Does 1-4 (Deputy Sheriffs), and Jane Doe (Licensed Vocational Nurse). All Defendants are employed by the Kern County Jail Central Receiving Facility.

Plaintiff alleges as follows: After being placed in mechanical ankle restraints, Plaintiff informed the deputy sheriff that the restraints were too tight. The deputy sheriff told Plainitff to be quiet. Plaintiff was then placed in mechanical restraints around his waist and wrists and told to walk into the holding cell. Plaintiff again advised that the ankle restraints were tight and painful and left him unable to walk. A deputy then pushed Plaintiff from behind, Plaintiff fell over a pile of clothing or bedding, landed on the floor, sustained injuries to his nose and mouth, and was knocked unconscious. Deputies standing above Plaintiff when he regained consciousness refused to help him stand and refused him medical attention. Eventually, the nurse gave him gauze for his nose and informed him that he would receive medical attention when he was transferred.

IV. ANALYSIS

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." Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385, 1391 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotations omitted).

Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by using excessive force in causing his fall and by failing to provide adequate medical treatment after his fall. Plaintiff requests "punitive, monetary, and declaratory damages." (ECF. ...


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