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Nyland v. Calaveras County Sheriff's Jail

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 16, 2016

JON L. NYLAND, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Jon L. Nyland ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on June 11, 2015.[1] On July 17, 2015, the Court screened the complaint and dismissed it for failure to state a claim with leave to file an amended complaint. On July 24, 2015, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint. He names Nurse Joy Lynch, Doctor McKay, Correctional Officers Keith Vincent, Mattos, and Manning, and Sergeant John Bailey as Defendants.


         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 was detained at Calaveras County Jail pending trial on unidentified charges at the time the events giving rise to this action occurred. He is currently incarcerated at Deuel Vocational Institution.

         Plaintiff states that he suffers from mental illness. He complains that the nurse failed to screen him when he was first booked into jail on May 13, 2015. On June 2, 2015, Plaintiff grieved to Defendant Bailey concerning his mental health. Defendant Bailey advised him that he was on the list to see mental health and a doctor. Plaintiff was given a medical slip. On June 5, 2015, he was seen by a mental health worker who advised him that he would be getting lithium and anti-psychotic medication. On June 10, 2015, Plaintiff grieved again because his symptoms had gotten worse. On June 13, 2015, he was seen by Defendant Dr. McKay. Defendant McKay gave Plaintiff a mood stabilizer. Plaintiff complained that the doctor misdiagnosed him and should have given him anti-psychotic drugs. Plaintiff was advised he could obtain a second opinion if he could pay for it. Plaintiff grieved to the second level and complained that the doctor did not ask for his symptoms or read his medical records. He grieved all issues to the Sheriff on July 2, 2015, and the Sheriff responded that he trusts his staff at the jail.

         On July 6, 2015, Plaintiff was advised by mental health worker Brenda Hawley that in order to be released from the safety cell, he would have to sign an agreement for his safety and the safety of other inmates that he needed to push the emergency call button in the common area or his cell to inform staff of problems.

         After being locked down by Correctional Officer Vincent, Plaintiff choked himself. He complained of injuries to Vincent, but Vincent must have assumed Plaintiff was blaming him for his injuries. Plaintiff was having difficulty breathing and had hurt his neck when he fell. He pushed the button but there was no immediate response. Correctional Officer Mattos passed by and Plaintiff stopped her. Plaintiff was then taken to a safety cell as per procedure.

         Later, Plaintiff complained of injuries and asked for treatment. Correctional Officer Vincent and Nurse Lynch responded. Vincent advised Lynch that Plaintiff had injured himself when he was placed in the cell. Nurse Lynch reviewed the video footage and concluded that Plaintiff had no need for medical attention. Plaintiff then spent the night in the safety cell.

         Plaintiff also complains that on two occasions, legal mail was delivered to him but the mail had already been opened by Defendants Mattos and Manning. Plaintiff claims this violated his constitutional rights.

         Finally, Plaintiff complains that prison officials retaliated against him. He states he was housed in general population in E-Pod. Directly after filing a civil claim against the jail, he was moved to C-Pod and placed in administrative segregation without explanation. Plaintiff also complains that Defendant Bailey locked him down in the safety cell for six days after he had choked himself without a hearing or written statement of reasons. ...

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