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Law v. Blandon

United States District Court, N.D. California, Eureka Division

October 24, 2014

CARLOS GILBERT LAW, Plaintiff,
v.
BLANDON, et. al. Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE

NANDOR J. VADAS, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court dismissed the original complaint with leave to amend and plaintiff filed an amended complaint.

DISCUSSION

A. 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." "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only "give the defendant fair notice of what the.... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in order to state a claim 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 recently 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).

B. Legal Claims

Plaintiff states that a defendant failed to protect him from violence by other inmates.

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.

A pretrial detainee is not protected by the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual punishment because he has not been convicted of a crime. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 & n.16 (1979). Pretrial detainees are protected from punishment without due process, however, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 746-47 (1987); Bell, 441 U.S. at 535-36. The protections of the Due Process Clause are at least as great as those of the Eighth Amendment. See Revere v. Massachusetts General Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244 (1983). In the Ninth Circuit, "deliberate indifference is the level of culpability that pretrial detainees must establish for a violation of their personal security interests under the [F]ourteenth [A]mendment." Redman v. County of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435, 1443 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1074 (1992).

It is not clear if plaintiff is a pretrial detainee or a convicted prisoner, however he states he was sexually assaulted by other inmates while at San Francisco County Jail. Plaintiff states that his classification records indicated and he told defendant Deputy Blandon that he had a history of being a victim of inmate violence due to accusations of being a snitch, sex offender, and gay. Plaintiff was placed in general population and was assaulted by other inmates. This claim is sufficient to proceed regardless of plaintiff's status.

CONCLUSION

1. The clerk shall issue a summons and Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, the summons, Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, copies of the amended complaint (Docket No. 22) with attachments and ...


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