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Emmanuel Vaughn v. Cole

December 1, 2011

EMMANUEL VAUGHN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
COLE, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff Emmanuel Vaughn (aka Raymond Davis) ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his original complaint on November 19, 2009, which is currently before the Court. Doc. 1.

II. Screening

A. Screening Standard

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).

"'Under § 1915A, when determining whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.'" Hamilton v. Brown, 630 F.3d 889. 892-93 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Resnick v. Warden Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir.2000). "'Additionally, in general, courts must construe pro se pleadings liberally.'" Id. A complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted "if it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations." See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); see also Synagogue v. United States, 482 F.3d 1058, 1060 (9th Cir. 2007); NL Industries, Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). In determining whether to dismiss an action, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, and construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421-22 (1969); Daniels-Hall v. National Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010).

B. Plaintiff's Complaint

Plaintiff is incarcerated at Kern valley State Prison in Delano California and is suing under section 1983 for events which occurred while a prisoner at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, State Prison ("CSATF") in Corcoran California. Doc. 1. In his complaint, Plaintiff names the following defendants: 1) Cole (Correctional Officer at CSATF); 2) Devine (Correctional Officer at CSATF); 3) Johnson (Correctional Officer at CSATF); 4) and Does 1 through 2 (Correctional Officers at CSATF). Doc. 1 at 2. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages against all Defendants and damages in the amount if $100.00. Doc. 1 at 3.

Plaintiff alleges that on September 3, 2008, CSATF implemented "a Hispanic inmate lockdown" because the Hispanic inmate population was considered to be a threat to the "safety and security of that institution." Doc. 1 at 3. Plaintiff states that the"Program Status Report" placed the named defendants on notice that the Hispanic inmates were on lock-down on September 3, 3008, and the security threat that the lock-down aimed to address. Doc. 1 at 4. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Devine admitted to having knowledge that Hispanic inmates were on lock-down September 3, 2008. Doc. 1 at 3. Prior to September 3, 2008, Plaintiff was assigned to the "D-Facility" main kitchen as a second watch worker. Plaintiff's assignment to the main kitchen made Plaintiff eligible to be a "criticle [sic] worker, which meant that Plaintiff was authorized to perform work duties during certain lockdown periods." Doc. 1 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that on the morning of September 3, 2008, Defendant John Doe #1 performed work duties as a second watch staff as a "D-facility Building 4 Tower Officer." Doc. 1 at 3.

According to Plaintiff, Defendant Doe #1's duty as a tower officer was to release and secure inmates in their housing units throughout the work day. Doc. 1 at 3-4. At or about 7:00 am, Defendant Doe #1 announced through the speaker system that he was going to start releasing inmate critical workers and then proceeded to release them. Doc. 1 at 4. According the Plaintiff, because Plaintiff was African American, he was allowed to work during that particular lock-down period.

On September 3, 2008, Defendant Doe #1 released from his cell a Hispanic inmate named Gomez and allowed inmate Gomez to work in the main kitchen during the lock-down and inmate Gomez later attacked and "severely battered" Plaintiff with a weapon. Doc. 1 at 4. As a result of the attack, Plaintiff suffered a three and a half inch "life threatening laceration to his neck," a three inch laceration to his right shoulder and a four and a half inch laceration to his back. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff states that prior to September 3, 3008, inmate Gomez was assigned to work in the main kitchen, however, the September 3, 2008, lock-down meant that inmate Gomez was not authorized out of his cell without proper escort. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff argues that the attack could have been prevented if any of the named defendants noticed that inmate Gomez was not allowed to leave his cell due to the Hispanic inmate lock-down. Doc. 1 at 4. Additionally, Plaintiff states that "[i]nmate Gomez's Hispanic ethnicity was more than recognizable." Doc. 1 at 4.

On September 3, 2008, Defendant Cole worked as a second watch change supervisor. Doc. 1 at 4. Defendant Cole's duties included collecting inmate identifications cards from inmates and placing the cards in the appropriate work duty slots as the inmates pass through the work change area. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Cole allowed inmate Gomez to pass through the work change area and to proceed to the main kitchen. Doc. 1 at 4.

On September 3, 2008, Defendant Doe #2 worked as the main kitchen supervisor for the second watch work shift. Defendant Doe #2's duties included observing inmates as they performed their work duties and to ensure that every inmate was authorized to work in the main kitchen. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Doe #2 allowed inmate Gomez to remain in the main kitchen and failed to recognize that inmate Gomez was unauthorized to work in the main kitchen due to the September 3, 2008, lock-down. Doc. 1 at 4.

According to Plaintiff, Defendant Devine worked as a "Third Watch" main kitchen supervisor and allowed Defendant Gomez to perform voluntary overtime work duties in the main kitchen on September 3, 2008. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Devine admitted to knowing that Hispanic inmates were on lock-down on September 3, 2008, the day that Plaintiff was attacked under Defendant Devine's supervision. Doc. 1 at 4. Additionally, Defendant Johnson worked as a "Third Watch" main kitchen supervisor and failed to recognize that ...


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