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Jackson v. Chappell

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 7, 2015

CHARLIE D. JACKSON, #1127769, Plaintiff(s),
v.
KEVIN CHAPPELL, Warden, et al., Defendant(s)

ORDER OF SERVICE

CHARLES R. BREYER, District Judge.

Plaintiff, a prisoner at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, Nevada, has filed a pro se complaint for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that, while he was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison (SQSP) in San Quentin, California, then-warden Kevin Chappell and other prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his safety needs when they failed to protect him from harm being caused by various correctional officers.

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). The court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint "is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, " or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed, however. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

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 (1988).

B. Legal Claims

Plaintiff alleges that at various times during his May 2010 to December 2012 incarceration at SQSP, he told then-warden Kevin Chappell, Sergeant L. Barnes and Lieutenant Yates that various correctional officers were poisoning his food, using excessive force against him and verbally abusing and harassing him, yet none of these prison officials took any action to protect plaintiff. Liberally construed, plaintiff's allegations appear to state a cognizable § 1983 claim for failure to protect in violation of the Eighth Amendment. See Hearns v. Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036, 1041-42 (9th Cir. 2005) (allegations in pro se complaint sufficient to raise inference that named prison officials knew that plaintiff faced a substantial risk of serious harm and disregarded that risk by failing to take reasonable measures to abate it state a failure-to-protect claim).

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons and for good cause shown,

1. The clerk shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, copies of the complaint in this matter, all attachments thereto, and copies of this order on the following defendants at SQSP: former warden Kevin Chappell, Sergeant L. Barnes and Lieutenant Yates. The clerk also shall serve a copy of this order on plaintiff.

2. In order to expedite the resolution of this case, the court orders as follows:

a. No later than 90 days from the date of this order, defendants shall serve and file a motion for summary judgment or other dispositive motion. A motion for summary judgment must be supported by adequate factual documentation and must conform in all respects to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, and must include as exhibits all records and incident reports stemming from the events at issue. A motion for summary judgment also must be accompanied by a Rand notice so that plaintiff will have fair, timely and adequate notice of what is required of him in order to oppose the motion. Woods v. Carey, 684 F.3d 934, 935 (9th Cir. 2012) (notice requirement set out in Rand v. Rowland, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998), must be served concurrently with motion for summary judgment). A motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies (where such a motion, rather than a motion for summary judgment for failure to exhaust, is appropriate) must be accompanied by a similar notice. Stratton v. Buck, 697 F.3d 1004, 1008 (9th Cir. 2012); Woods, 684 F.3d at 935 (notice requirement set out in Wyatt v. Terhune, 315 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2003), overruled on other grounds by Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d 1162, 1166 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc), must be served concurrently with motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies).

If defendants are of the opinion that this case cannot be resolved by summary judgment or other dispositive motion, they shall so inform the court prior to the date their motion is due. All papers filed ...


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