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William Elliott v. Neybarth

March 7, 2012

WILLIAM ELLIOTT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEYBARTH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara A. McAuliffe United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1)

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION AND DIRECTING CLERK OF THE COURT TO CORRECT NAME OF DEFENDANT NEYBARTH (ECF No. 5) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff William Elliott is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is the complaint, filed February 18, 2011, and a motion to correct the name of Defendant Neybarth, filed March 11, 2011. (ECF Nos. 1, 5.) Plaintiff's motion to correct the name of Defendant Neybarth to Nuebarth shall be granted.

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 "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted," or that "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court looks to the pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under 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)(2). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955 (2007)).

II. Discussion

Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") and is housed at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility ("CSATF"). Plaintiff brings this complaint alleging deliberate indifference and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") when he was placed in the Mental Health Unit on suicide watch from October 3 though 12, 2010.

Plaintiff states that Defendants Nuebarth and Woo were responsible for ensuring that his disability limitation accommodations were met and disability limitations chronos were not disregarded. Defendants Nuebarth and Woo were in a position with decision making authority and could have written an order for Plaintiff to be housed in a facility that would meet his disability needs. Defendants Nuebarth and Woo were aware that Plaintiff was a disabled inmate covered under the ADA and refused to ensure that Plaintiff was given accommodations consistent with his disabilities.

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally 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). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

Plaintiff's complaint fails to allege facts to show that any defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights, Jones, 297 F.3d at 934, and therefore, the complaint fails to state a cognizable claim. Plaintiff shall be given the opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies described by the Court in this order. In the paragraphs that follow, the Court will provide Plaintiff with the legal standards that appear to apply to his claims. Plaintiff should carefully review the standards and amend only those claims that he believes, in good faith, are cognizable.

A. Defendant Liability

Although Plaintiff names the Director of the CDCR, Warden of CSATF, Chief Medical Officer at CSATF, and Doe officers as defendants, his complaint is devoid of any allegations against any of these individuals. In order to state a claim, Plaintiff must set forth factual allegations to show that each named defendant personally ...


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