United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 11) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE
BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.
I. Screening Requirement and Standard
Plaintiff Lloyd Albert Payne ("Plaintiff") is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 2, 2014, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend within thirty days. Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed on May 27, 2014, is currently before the Court for screening.
The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 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, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, 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).
Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler , 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). 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 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.
II. Allegations in First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff is currently housed at North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Oklahoma. The events in his compliant allegedly occurred while he was housed at Wasco State Prison. Plaintiff names the following defendants: (1) John Katavich, Chief Executive Officer; (3) Correctional Sergeant S. Butler; and (4) Correctional Officer A. Gutierres. Defendants are sued in their individual capacities.
In Claim 1, Plaintiff asserts a violation of his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff alleges as follows: To prevent greater harm to his back, Plaintiff would not stand for an hour. Defendant A. Gutierres made a judgment that Plaintiff was not in chronic pain and did not want to work in a retherm kitchen. Plaintiff previously told the officer that he had chronic pain and could not stand for a long time. On the night of the incident, June 6, 2012/June 7, 2012, Defendant A. Gutierres, along with Defendant Butler, removed Plaintiff from the kitchen by escort of two unknown officers and placed him in a standing cage for more than 4 hours, totaling 12 hours. Since that time, Plaintiff's back pains have worsened. Plaintiff previously told Gutierres of his chronic pain and had requested a comprehensive modification to not stand for 1 hour and not perform heavy duty or lifting/bending of any kind. The officers did not take this seriously.
In Claim 2, Plaintiff asserts a claim for violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Plaintiff alleges that Warden John Katavich wrote a memorandum for his personnel staff to come up with tactics to get inmates to work because his kitchen program was failing in the retherm. Plaintiff contends that this links the Warden to the cause of action involving the officers as his officers claimed to be enforcing institutional rules by placing him in a cage. Plaintiff further contends that the institutional policy was deficient for chronic care inmates and violated his equal protection rights by assignment to a heavy duty job, extreme disciplinary measures and rule violation reports.
Plaintiff also alleges that he was unequally protected when the kitchen personnel staff supervisor, Brown, had been notified by Plaintiff and Chief Medical in June 2012, that to prevent greater harm the supervisors were to accommodate Plaintiff's medical specifications. Plaintiff alleges that the result of him not being equally protected caused him injury to his ...