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Puckett v. Young

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 4, 2014

D. PUCKETT, Plaintiff,
v.
R. YOUNG, et al., Defendants.

SCREENING ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT OR NOTIFY COURT OF WILLINGNESS TO PROCEED ONLY ON COGNIZABLE CLAIMS (ECF No. 1)

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Durrell Puckett ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on June 3, 2013, 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. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff's current address is the Department of State Hospitals in Vacaville, California. The events alleged in the complaint occurred while Plaintiff was housed at the California Correctional Institute.

Excessive Force

On June 12, 2009, Defendant P. Grant, along with Defendant J. Meyers, aggressively slammed Plaintiff into the wall. Defendant R. Young then violently struck Plaintiff repeatedly in the face while he was being taken down by Defendants D. Jobb, J. Meyers and P. Grant. Defendants J. Meyers and P. Grant struck Plaintiff with their hands, boots and baton. Defendant G. Rodriguez then hit Plaintiff's elbow multiple time with his baton. Defendant Young kicked Plaintiff in the face numerous times while Plaintiff was in cuffs. While this was occurring, Defendant D. Jobb was holding Plaintiff down to prevent his escape.

About ten to fifteen minutes later, Defendant Sergeant M. Slankard and Defendant Sergeant C. Martinez pulled Plaintiff out of his holding cell and slammed him into the cell door. Plaintiff flew off his feet and smashed head first. While cuffed, Plaintiff crumbled to the floor and Defendants Slankard and Martinez starting hitting him. Defendant Jobb held Plaintiff down and covered Plaintiff's mouth as he screamed for help.

Retaliation

On the same date, Defendant T. Peterson falsified a write-up, stating that Plaintiff tried to spit on her because she insinuated/ordered the assault by Defendants Martinez and Slankard. Defendant T. Peterson also knew that Plaintiff wanted a camera interview. Defendant Peterson, along with Defendant Grant, denied Plaintiff legal copies needed for his lawsuit against CDCR.

Defendants Grant, Slankard and Martinez were mad because Plaintiff wanted to speak to Lt. E. Noyce regarding their threats and violations. Defendants Grant and R. Williams continued to threaten Plaintiff as he went to his unit. They got the assistance of others and initiated the attack on Plaintiff.

Defendants Jobb, Meyers, Grant, Williams, Munoz, Rodriguez, Young, Slankard and Martinez falsified his CDC 115 and attempted to cover-up the prison brutality. They attempted to manipulate the matter by saying only Defendant Young used force because he had flashbacks started by Plaintiff kicking him. About 7-12 inmates started yelling, stating "Help Captain their [sic] stomping out a cuffed inmate" and other words to that effect. (ECF No. 1, p. 5.)

Defendant Steers checked outside and then gave Defendant Martinez a thumbs-up. Defendant Martinez then started his attack.

Discrimination

Plaintiff contends that Defendant Young called him a "nigger" as he hit and kicked Plaintiff in the head. As Plaintiff screamed, an officer said "not in the face stupid what are you doing." (ECF No. 1, p. 5.) Defendant ...


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