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Hopkins v. Salvation Army

United States District Court, N.D. California

October 3, 2014

KEVIN L. HOPKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
THE SALVATION ARMY, Defendant.

ORDER OF SERVICE

JAMES DONATO, District Judge.

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se. He seeks relief pursuant to the American's with Disabilities Act. Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed with leave to amend and he has filed an amended complaint.

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).

II. LEGAL CLAIMS

Plaintiff alleges that his rights under the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) were violated by the Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Program. Title II of the ADA "prohibit[s] discrimination on the basis of disability." Lovell v. Chandler, 303 F.3d 1039, 1052 (9th Cir. 2002). Title II provides that "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subject to discrimination by such entity." 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Title II of the ADA applies to inmates within state prisons. Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections v. Yeskey, 524 U.S. 206, 213 (1998).

In order to state a claim that a public program or service violated Title II of the ADA, a plaintiff must show: he is a "qualified individual with a disability"; he was either excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of a public entity's services, programs, or activities, or was otherwise discriminated against by the public entity; and such exclusion, denial of benefits, or discrimination was by reason of his disability. McGary v. City of Portland, 386 F.3d 1259, 1265 (9th Cir. 2004).

Plaintiff may bring a claim under Title II of the ADA against state entities for injunctive relief and damages. See Phiffer v. Columbia River Correctional Institute, 384 F.3d 791, 792 (9th Cir. 2004). The standard for recovery of damages is deliberate indifference to plaintiff's rights under the ADA. Duvall v. County of Kitsap, 260 F.3d 1124, 1138 (9th Cir. 2001). "Deliberate indifference requires both knowledge that a harm to a federally protected right is substantially likely, and a failure to act upon that likelihood." Id. at 1139. Plaintiff cannot seek damages pursuant to the ADA against defendants in their individual capacities. Vinson v. Thomas, 288 F.3d 1145, 1156 (9th Cir. 2002).

Plaintiff seeks only money damages in this case. Plaintiff states that he entered into a plea agreement in Contra Costa County and was then later admitted into the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation program. Plaintiff states he injured his knee on November 2, 2012, and when he was released from the hospital the Salvation Army denied him reentry because of their failure to maintain and repair the facility and they had no use for plaintiff's labor. Plaintiff states that he was denied reentry into the program because there are three flights of stairs in the building that he would be unable to use due to his injured knee and he would be unable to work as part of the program. Previously he had been loading and unloading trucks at the Salvation Army.[1] Liberally construed, plaintiff's claim is sufficient to demonstrate a violation of the ADA and to serve defendant.[2]

CONCLUSION

1. The clerk shall issue a summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, copies of the amended complaint with attachments and copies of this order on the following defendant: the Salvation Army at 601 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607, and at the Salvation Army, c/o, ...


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