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Jaimes v. Herrera

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 17, 2014

JUAN JAIMES, Plaintiff,
S. HERRERA, et al., Defendants.


DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Juan Jaimes ("Plaintiff"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this action on November 21, 2013. Plaintiff names Correctional Officers S. Herrera, M. Lozano, J. J. Torres, Correctional Lt. J. Harden, Correctional Sergeant R. Molina, Dr. J. Akanno, Registered Nurses Moreno and N. Buschbacker as Defendants.[1]


The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious, " that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action or appeal... 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 , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id . (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead , 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles , 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones v. Williams , 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). Plaintiff's allegations must link the actions or omissions of each named defendant to a violation of his rights; there is no respondeat superior liability under section 1983. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-77; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz. , 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton , 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones , 297 F.3d at 934. Plaintiff must present factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.


Plaintiff is currently housed at Corcoran State Prison ("CSP") in Corcoran, California. The events at issue occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Kern Valley State Prison.

Plaintiff alleges as follows. On April 6, 2012, Plaintiff suffered a back injury, specifically an L-1 vertebral burst fracture with compression. As a result of his injury, Plaintiff wears a back brace and walks with the aid of a cane.

On September 11, 2012, at approximately 6:15 a.m., Defendant J. J. Torres came to Plaintiff's cell door and inquired whether Plaintiff was ready to go to court. Plaintiff asked for a few minutes to wash up, and Torres stated, "Yes, let me know when you are ready." A short time later, Torres returned and performed an unclothed body search, handcuffed him, grabbed him by the left arm, and escorted him to "Receiving and Release." Torres engaged in small talk with Plaintiff.

After they arrived at the program office area, Plaintiff was approached by Defendants S. Herrera and M. Lozano, who were Institutional Gang Investigators. Plaintiff was directed to open his mouth. Before they could finish their sentence, both Defendants Herrera and Lozano placed their hands and arms around Plaintiff's neck and choked him until he passed out. When Plaintiff awoke, Herrera was kneeing him viciously in the back and neck. Both Herrera and Lozano then picked Plaintiff up and slammed him to the ground. Plaintiff asked them, "What did I do?" Defendants Herrera and Lozano continued to beat him and applied their body weight to Plaintiff's back. Defendant Torres did nothing to stop Herrera and Lozano, did not press the alarm button, and did not write a report of what he saw.

Defendants Herrera and Lozano then escorted Plaintiff to Defendant Registered Nurse L. Moreno. Plaintiff requested to be examined. Nurse Moreno completed the CDC-7219 and released Plaintiff to Herrera and Lozano, who then took Plaintiff by van to court.

After court, Plaintiff was taken to the I.G.I. office where he was threatened that if he filed something describing what had occurred, he would be pulled out of his cell at 3:00 a.m. by officers in black clothing and beaten to death or hung.

After Plaintiff returned to prison from Kings County Superior Court, at approximately 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., Plaintiff was taken to the I.G.I. office where Defendants Harden, Herrera, Lozano, and Molina threatened his life. Plaintiff insisted on receiving medical care.

Harden, Herrera, Lozano, and Molina escorted Plaintiff to the A-Facility Medical Clinic where he saw Defendant Registered Nurse N. Buschbacker. Plaintiff states Buschbacker did not want to do anything at all and told him, "You're messing with my snack." Defendant Buschbacker looked at Plaintiff on his back and told Plaintiff, "There ain't nothing wrong with you." Plaintiff states Buschbacker did not refer him to a doctor or for x-rays.

After being released back to custody, Plaintiff complained of being in great pain and was taken to see Defendant Dr. Akanno. Dr. Akanno looked at Plaintiff, told him he was okay, gave Plaintiff ...

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