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Young v. Taylor

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 20, 2016

GALE JOSEPH YOUNG, Plaintiff
v.
TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE RE: DKT., 8

          KANDIS A. WESTMORE United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Gale Joseph Young, a state prisoner incarcerated at the San Francisco County Jail, filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging the violation of his constitutional rights by employees of the San Francisco County Jail. On February 3, 2016, the Court issued an Order finding that, liberally construed, Plaintiff’s allegations stated a cognizable First Amendment claim against Deputies Taylor and Garza for denying Plaintiff access to the courts and a First Amendment claim against the same defendants for retaliating against Plaintiff for exercising his First Amendment rights. The Court dismissed with leave to amend the same claims against Lt. Wheeler because the allegations did not show how he was personally involved in the constitutional violations. The Court also dismissed with leave to amend an Eighth Amendment claim based on the denial of recreation because Plaintiff did not name any defendants who were responsible for this deprivation. On February 11, 2016, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”), which the Court now reviews.

         DISCUSSION

         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 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 (1988).

         II. Plaintiff‘s Allegations

         In his FAC, Plaintiff adds the allegations that he mailed a grievance and a letter to Lt. Wheeler, informing him that Taylor and Garza were preventing Plaintiff from accessing the court and were retaliating against him for filing grievances. However, instead of taking action to stop the alleged constitutional violations, Wheeler forwarded Plaintiff’s letter to Taylor, the person about whom Plaintiff was complaining. Viewed liberally, these allegations appear to state cognizable First Amendment claims against Wheeler, Garza and Taylor based on lack of access to the courts and retaliation.

         In regard to the Eighth Amendment claim for lack of recreation, Plaintiff alleges that he has filed many grievances challenging his lack of recreation and the fact that he is taken out of his cell only for a shower every two days. The FAC alleges that Plaintiff sent a grievance and letter about this to Lt. Wheeler, who forwarded the documents to Taylor, both of whom did nothing to correct this alleged constitutional violation. Viewed liberally, these allegations appear to state a cognizable Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against Taylor and Wheeler.

         In his original complaint, Plaintiff named the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department as a defendant. However, he did not mention the Sheriff’s Department in the original complaint or in his amended complaint; therefore, any claims against the Sheriff’s Department are dismissed. The Clerk shall terminate this defendant from the docket.

         CONCLUSION

         Based on the foregoing, the Court issues the following orders

         1. Plaintiff’s allegations appear to state cognizable First Amendment claims for lack of access to the courts and retaliation against San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputies Taylor and Garza and San Francisco Sheriff’s Lt. Wheeler. The allegations also appear to state a cognizable Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against Deputy Taylor and Lt. Wheeler. The allegations do not state a cognizable claim against the Sheriff’s Department and any claims against it are dismissed with prejudice.

         2. The Clerk of the Court shall mail a Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons, two copies of the Waiver of Service of Summons, a copy of the complaint (docket no. 1), the amended complaint (docket no. 8) and all attachments thereto, a copy of this Order, a copy of the Court’s February 3, 2016 Order (docket no. 7) and a copy of the form “Consent or Declination to Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction” to Deputies Taylor and Garza and Lt. Wheeler at the San Francisco County Jail. This form can also be found at www.cand.uscourts.gov/civilforms. The Clerk shall also mail a copy of the complaint, ...


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