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Grajeda v. Rodgers

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 13, 2014

TOMAS G. GRAJEDA, Plaintiff,
v.
S. RODGERS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE

JAMES DONATO, District Judge.

Plaintiff, a state prisoner, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

DISCUSSION

I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Although a complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations, ... a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. The United States Supreme Court has explained the "plausible on its face" standard of Twombly: "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

II. LEGAL CLAIMS

Plaintiff alleges that a correctional officer failed to protect him from an assault by another inmate.

The Eighth Amendment requires that prison officials take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of prisoners. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). In particular, prison officials have a duty to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners. Id. at 833; Hearns v. Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036, 1040 (9th Cir. 2005). The failure of prison officials to protect inmates from attacks by other inmates or from dangerous conditions at the prison violates the Eighth Amendment only when two requirements are met: (1) the deprivation alleged is, objectively, sufficiently serious; and (2) the prison official is, subjectively, deliberately indifferent to inmate safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834; Hearns, 413 F.3d at 1040-41.

Plaintiff states that he was alone in his cell and was preparing for the door to be opened so he could proceed to the shower. Another inmate was walking by his cell, made some sort of motion to the guard control booth and then plaintiff's cell door was opened by the booth that was operated by defendant Rodgers. The other inmate entered plaintiff's cell, the cell door was closed by the booth and the other inmate stabbed plaintiff with a weapon multiple times. Other guards arrived at the scene to stop the assault and plaintiff was taken to an outside hospital where he was treated for his injuries. This claim is sufficient to proceed against Rodgers.

Plaintiff also alleges that Townsed, the inmate appeals coordinator at the prison, improperly denied plaintiff's appeals regarding this incident. However, there is no constitutional right to a prison administrative appeal or grievance system. See Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003); Mann v. Adams, 855 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1988). This claim is dismissed.

CONCLUSION

1. Defendant Townsend is DISMISSED from this action for the reasons set forth above. 2. The clerk shall issue a summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, copies of the complaint with attachments and copies of this order on the following ...


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