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Hutchinson v. McDaniel

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 9, 2015

KEITH MONROE HUTCHINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
D. L. McDANIEL, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS CASE, WITH PREJUDICE, AS TIME-BARRED AND FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (DOC. 15.) OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

GARY S. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

Keith Monroe Hutchinson ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the initial Complaint commencing this action on September 6, 2012. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint on January 31, 2014. (Doc. 13.) On March 7, 2014, the court dismissed the First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. (Doc. 14.) On April 4, 2014, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint, which is now before the court for screening. (Doc. 15.)

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

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).

Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions, none of which apply to § 1983 actions. Swierkeiwicz v. Sorema, N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Under federal notice pleading, a complaint is required to 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 (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). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

III. SUMMARY OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. The events at issue in the Second Amended Complaint allegedly occurred at California State Prison-Corcoran (CSPC) in Corcoran, California. Plaintiff names as defendants Lieutenant D. L. McDaniel, Correctional Officer (C/O) Knight, and C/O Busby, who were all employed at CSPC as Second Watch Officers at the time of the events at issue. Plaintiff's factual allegations follow.

In August 1994, when Plaintiff was housed in Administrative Segregation at CSPC, he was forced to accept a cell mate who had just arrived from Atascadero State Mental Hospital. The next day, Plaintiff requested a cell move because the cell mate, Jackson, who was placed in Plaintiff's cell, had begun talking to himself and making statements about hurting himself and others. Plaintiff reported all this to the Second Watch Floor Staff in the building, but was told, "We don't move anybody just because they want to get moved. You know we have to see some blood and or catching ( sic ) you fighting." (Second Amended Complaint, Doc. 15 at 3 ¶IV.)

On the morning of August 12, 1994, Plaintiff's cell mate Jackson attacked and sexually assaulted him while Plaintiff was asleep, and tied and bound Plaintiff's body during a series of physical assaults. C/O Knight was asked through "Interview" why he had not noticed an inmate tied and bound in the cell during his Second Watch rounds. C/O Knight responded that he "couldn't see Plaintiff because he [Plaintiff] was covered up from head to toe." (Id. at 4:6.)

Plaintiff alleges that his requests to be moved were all ignored, and that defendants McDaniel, Knight, and Busby were personally responsible for the assault against Plaintiff, due to neglect of their duties as Second Watch Officers of the building. Plaintiff alleges that his pain and suffering from the assault were caused by Defendants' failure to perform their duty. As a result of the incident, Plaintiff has been diagnosed with mental issues and post traumatic stress disorder.

Plaintiff requests monetary damages.

IV. PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO PROTECT CLAIM - EIGHTH AMENDMENT

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was ...


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