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Anthony Bilbao v. K. Allison

June 22, 2012

ANTHONY BILBAO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
K. ALLISON, 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) THIRTY DAY DEADLINE

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Anthony Bilbao 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 June 27, 2011. (ECF No. 1.)

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).

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, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now higher, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), and to survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at , 129 S. Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient, and "facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S. Ct. at 1949; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

Further, 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). 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, 556 U.S. at 678, 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, 127 S. Ct. 1955).

II. Complaint Allegations

Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") and is incarcerated at Folsom State Prison. The incidents alleged in the complaint occurred while Plaintiff was housed at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran. Plaintiff brings this action against Warden K. Allison, Associate Warden A. Hernandez, Correctional Lieutenant D. Goss, Facility Captain V. Vasquez, an unidentified Associate Director of the CDCR ("Doe 1"), and an unidentified Institution Security Captain ("Doe 2"). (Compl. 2-3,*fn1 ECF No. 1.)

Plaintiff states that on June 21, 2009, following an incident between Southern Hispanic and Northern Hispanic inmates, Defendants Allison, Goss, Hernandez, and Does 1 and 2 decided to lockdown all Hispanic inmates and take away all privileges, such as contact visits, phone calls, educational programs, religious services, and recreational yard. On July 6, 2010, Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal regarding the prolonged lockdown and the discrimination against Hispanic inmates. Plaintiff's appeal was partially granted, but yard and contact visits were never issued. Plaintiff alleges that prison officials have been discriminating against Hispanic inmates, and Defendants Allison, Goss, Hernandez, and Does 1 and 2 have continually used security concerns as a reason to violate his Eighth Amendment rights. Plaintiff contends that he was not involved in any of the incidents and the inmates who were involved are no longer on the general population. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff is seeking monetary damages and an injunction order the defendants to stop prolonging lockdowns. (Id. at 3.)

III. Discussion

A. Eighth Amendment

Plaintiff alleges that the continued lockdown violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment. While it is unclear precisely what conditions Plaintiff alleges he was subjected to that violate the Eighth Amendment or how long the deprivation lasted, his main allegations appear to be that he was denied "yard" and contact visits. The Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from inhumane methods of punishment and from inhumane conditions of confinement. Morgan v. Morgensen, 465 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2006). Extreme deprivations are required to make out a conditions of confinement claim, and only those deprivations denying the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities are sufficiently grave to form the basis of an Eighth Amendment violation. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9, 112 S. Ct. 995 (1992) (citations and quotations omitted). In order to state a claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment, the plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to support a claim that prison officials knew of and disregarded a substantial risk of serious harm to the plaintiff. E.g., Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 847, 114 S. Ct. 1970 (1994); Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 1128 (9th Cir. 1998).

The circumstances, nature, and duration of the deprivations are critical in determining whether the conditions complained of are grave enough to form the basis of a viable Eighth Amendment claim. ...


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