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Moore v. Magat

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 24, 2014

DR. M. MAGAT, et al., Defendants

Sylvester Moore, Plaintiff, Pro se, Pahrump, NV.


DONNA M. RYU, United States Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, a federal prisoner who is currently incarcerated at the Nevada Southern Detention Center, has filed a pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, [1] alleging constitutional violations at Santa Rita Jail (" SRJ") and the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility (" Glenn Dyer"), where he was housed as a federal pre-trial detainee. Dkt. 1. Plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction, and this matter has been assigned to the undersigned Magistrate Judge. Dkt. 6. Plaintiff has filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, which will be granted in a separate written Order. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel. Dkt. 3.

Venue is proper because the events giving rise to the claims are alleged to have occurred at SRJ and Glenn Dyer (both run by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department) in Alameda County, which is located in this judicial district. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

In his complaint, Plaintiff names multiple jail officials from the Alameda County Sheriff's Department and employees of Corizon Health, Inc. (" CHI"), which is contracted to provide medical care for jail inmates, including: CHI Medical Doctors M. Magat, Melgarejo, Tan Sing, and Jose Aramburo; CHI Registered Nurses Corazon V. Beltran and Maria Sadri; CHI Nurse Collie Comfort; CHI Nurse Practitioner Spring Cerise; Sergeant Ladner; and Deputies Anderson, Tilley, and Rojas. Plaintiff also names Doe Defendants, including: Intake/Receiving Staff " John Doe #1"; CHI Charge Nurse " John Doe #2"; and " PM Pill Call Nurse " John Doe #3." Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.


I. Standard of Review

A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks 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 that 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. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

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 violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988).

II. Legal Claims

A. Injunctive Relief Claims

Plaintiff seeks both injunctive relief and money damages (including compensatory and punitive damages). The jurisdiction of the federal courts depends on the existence of a " case or controversy" under Article III of the Constitution. PUC v. FERC, 100 F.3d 1451, 1458 (9th Cir. 1996). A claim is considered moot if it has lost its character as a present, live controversy, and if no effective relief can be granted: " Where the question sought to be adjudicated has been mooted by developments subsequent to filing of the complaint, no justiciable controversy is presented." Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 95, 88 S.Ct. 1942, 20 L.Ed.2d 947 (1968). Where injunctive relief is involved, questions of mootness are determined in light of the present circumstances. See Mitchell v. Dupnik, 75 F.3d 517, 528 (9th Cir. 1996).

When an inmate has been transferred to another prison and there is no reasonable expectation nor demonstrated probability that he will again be subjected to the prison conditions from which he seeks injunctive relief, the claim for injunctive relief should be dismissed as moot. See Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1368-69 (9th Cir. 1995). A claim that the inmate might be re-transferred to the prison where the injury occurred is too speculative to overcome mootness. Id.

When Plaintiff filed his original complaint, he alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement during the period of his confinement at either SRJ or Glenn Dyer from February 2014 through August 2014. As mentioned above, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief to remedy these alleged injuries. However, Plaintiff has since been transferred to the Nevada Southern Detention Center. Dkt. 11. Because Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated at either SRJ or Glenn Dyer, to the extent he seeks injunctive relief from the conditions of his ...

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