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Jacobs v. Hernandez

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 17, 2016

GEORGE E. JACOBS, Plaintiff,
HERNANDEZ, et al., Defendants.


          Dennis L. Beck Judge

         Plaintiff George E. Jacobs ("Plaintiff"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action on April 28, 2016. Plaintiff names Corcoran State Prison ("CSP") CCI S. Hernandez, CSP Warden D. Davey, CSP CCII Cota, CSP Cpt. Gallagher and CSP Sgt. Alvarado 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 is currently incarcerated at CSP in Corcoran, California, where the events at issue occurred.

         Plaintiff alleges that on March 11, 2016, he was discharged from the ACH Hospital with a humerus bone fracture and radial nerve palsy in his right arm. The condition left his right arm, wrist and fingers paralyzed. Plaintiff states that he was discharged so that he could be sent to an out-patient CDCR medical facility because of his high-risk medical status. However, he was placed and held in solitary confinement under punitive conditions instead.

         On March 15, 2016, Plaintiff saw Defendant Hernandez walking the tier talking to SNY inmates about their ICC hearings. Plaintiff tried to get her attention to inquire about his placement in Ad/Seg, but she ignored him. Each week, Plaintiff tried to contact her about his committee hearing, with negative results.

         On March 29, 2016, Plaintiff saw Defendant Cota on the tier processing SNY inmates for ICC hearings. Plaintiff stopped Defendant Cota and asked why he had not had an ICC placement hearing. Defendant Cota told Plaintiff, "you know why you haven't been taken to ICC, until you tell us something or go SNY you gonna stay back here." ECF No. 1, at 7. He said that he couldn't help him and that Plaintiff needed to talk to Defendant Hernandez.

         On April 11, 2016, Plaintiff sent a CDCR 22 form to ASU Sgt. Cambell asking why he had not had an ICC hearing. Sgt. Cambell investigated the situation and told Plaintiff that he emailed Defendant Hernandez, but Defendant Hernandez did not respond. Sgt. Cambell said he would continue to check on it.

         On April 12, 2016, Plaintiff sent a CDCR 322 form to Defendants Davey and Gallagher asking about an ICC hearing. Plaintiff explained his medical needs, but Defendants ignored him.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Davey is responsible for the training and discipline of Defendants Hernandez and Cota, who are his appointed designees responsible for preparing inmate files and presenting cases before the ICC within ten days. Defendant Davey is the chairman of ICC hearings and is responsible for overseeing his designees' caseloads to ensure that all inmates receive their hearings.

         Plaintiff contends that Defendant Gallagher is responsible for ensuring that he provides all inmates housed on the 3A yard and placed in solitary confinement with a notice and hearing 48 hours after placement. He is also supposed to follow-up with inmates who inform him that they were not provided with a notice or hearing, and review all lock-up orders.

         Plaintiff was placed in solitary confinement by Defendant Alvarado based on "unsubstantiated and unfounded suspicion of safety and security concerns." ECF No. 1, at 8. The conclusion of the investigation into Plaintiff's safety and security was affirmed on December 19, 2015, by Defendant Alvarado, but Plaintiff was still placed in solitary confinement on March 11, 2016, without due process.

         Plaintiff states that it has been 46 days and counting since he was placed in solitary confinement without notice, a hearing or charges. Plaintiff is a mental health prisoner with a disability. Since Plaintiff has been in solitary confinement, he has not had access to disability accommodations and has been forced to shower in non-ADA showers. He also contends that he is forced to take five-minute showers, which leave him unable to adequately clean himself with one arm. Plaintiff has become suicidal and has daily pain in his arm, which went untreated for a month. Plaintiff also had severe stomach pains, vomiting, fever and chills for four days, but he did not receive medication attention. He has to scream "man down" on four different occasions to get emergency medical treatment. ECF No. 1, at 9. Each time, Plaintiff was forced to fill out a co-payment form and was returned to his cell without treatment.

         Plaintiff contends that he has been discriminated against because of his disability, harassed and verbally abused. Daily, the guards provoke Plaintiff into committing a violent act so that ...

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