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Travon Leon Freeman v. Derrall G. Adams

February 8, 2011

TRAVON LEON FREEMAN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DERRALL G. ADAMS, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Travon Leon Freeman, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on December 8, 2009. The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences," Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendantpersonally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Plaintiff's Claims

A. Allegations

Plaintiff is incarcerated at California State Prison- Corcoran, where the events at issue in this action occurred. Plaintiff names Warden Derrall G. Adams, Lieutenant G. A. Finley, Sergeant R. Davidson, and Correctional Officer B. David as defendants. Plaintiff alleges claims for excessive force and unconstitutional conditions of confinement, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

On June 18, 2009, Defendant David was handcuffing Plaintiff when he began twisting the cuffs on Plaintiff's wrists, causing pain. Plaintiff jerked away from Defendant David and asked for the sergeant, Defendant Davidson. While Plaintiff and his cellmate were being taken to a holding cell, Defendant David hit Plaintiff in the back of the head and called him a "fucking asshole" in front of Defendants Davidson and Finley.

It then took more than twenty hours for Plaintiff to be re-housed. During that time, Plaintiff was left outside on yard for six hours in his boxer shorts and shirt, and he slept in a cell with cobwebs, spiders, moths, and gnats.

These events arose because Defendant David was harassing Plaintiff by refusing to feed him and his cellmate, and by yelling and kicking Plaintiff's cell door.

B. Excessive Force

The Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from the use of excessive physical force. Wilkins v. Gaddy, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 130 S.Ct. 1175, 1178 (2010) (per curiam); Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 8-9, 112 S.Ct. 995 (1992). What is necessary to show sufficient harm under the Eighth Amendment depends upon the claim at issue, with the objective component being contextual and responsive to contemporary standards of decency. Hudson, 503 U.S. at 8 (quotation marks and citations omitted). For excessive force claims, the core judicial inquiry is whether the force was applied in a good-faith effort to maintain or ...


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