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Cranford v. Tinna

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 14, 2014

ARCHIE CRANFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
M.A. TINNA, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM, AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS [ECF Nos. 2, 10, 11]

STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Archie Cranford is a civil detainee proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Individuals detained pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code § 6600 et seq. are civil detainees and are not prisoners within the meaning of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Page v. Torrey , 201 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2000). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge on February 18, 2014. Local Rule 302.

I.

SCREENING REQUIREMENT

The Court is required to screen Plaintiff's complaint and dismiss the case, in whole or in part, if the Court determines it 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 , 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (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 , 556 U.S. at 678.

Pro se litigants are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, Wilhelm v. Rotman , 680 F.3d 1113, 1121-23 (9th Cir. 2012); Hebbe v. Pliler , 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010), but Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible to survive screening, 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 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

II.

COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff contends that in the month of January 2013, he was in severe need of his vitals taken because of severe chest pains. However, Defendants Jessica C. and Tinna M. Adams sleep during their work shift and failed to conduct the necessary vitals, resulting in Plaintiff experiencing severe chest pain. Plaintiff contends the taking of his vital signs was necessary to ensure that his blood pressure was not too low prior to ingesting his medication.

III.

DISCUSSION

As a civil detainee, Plaintiff is entitled to treatment more considerate than that afforded pretrial detainees or convicted criminals. Jones v. Blanas , 393 F.3d 918, 931-32 (9th Cir. 2004). Plaintiff's right to constitutionally adequate conditions of confinement is protected by the substantive component of the Due Process Clause. Youngberg v. Romeo , 457 U.S. 307, 315, 102 S.Ct. 2452 (1982).

A determination whether Plaintiff's rights were violated requires "balancing of his liberty interests against the relevant state interests." Youngberg , 457 U.S. at 321. Plaintiff is "entitled to more considerate treatment and conditions of confinement than criminals whose conditions of confinement are designed to punish, " but the Constitution requires only that courts ensure that professional judgment was exercised. Youngberg , 457 U.S. at 321-22. A "decision, if made by a professional, is presumptively valid; liability may be imposed only when the decision by the professional is such a substantial departure from accepted professional judgment, practice, or standards as to demonstrate that the person responsible actually did not base the decision on such a judgment." Id. at 322-23; compare Clouthier v. County of Contra Costa , 591 F.3d 1232, 1243-44 (9th Cir. 2010) (rejecting the Youngberg standard and applying the deliberate indifference standard to a pretrial detainee's right to medical care, and noting that pretrial detainees, who are confined to ensure presence at trial, are not similarly situated to those civilly committed). The professional judgment ...


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