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Robertson v. Muniz

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 21, 2016

LA’SANE LEE ROBERTSON, Plaintiff
v.
W. L. MUNIZ, Defendant.

          ORDER OF SERVICE; ORDER DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO FILE A DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING SUCH MOTION; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK

          JOSEPH C. SPERO Chief Magistrate Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         In this federal civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, alleges that correctional officers at Salinas Valley State Prison violated his Eighth Amendment rights by keeping him in restraints and in unsanitary conditions for up to 24 hours.[1] The complaint is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

         The complaint states cognizable claims. Therefore, in response to the complaint, defendants are directed to file a dispositive motion or notice regarding such motion on or before September 19, 2016. The Court further directs that defendants are to adhere to the notice provisions detailed in Sections 2.a and 10 of the conclusion of this order.

         DISCUSSION

         A. 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 officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 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. See Id . § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

         A “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Furthermore, a court “is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994). 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. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         B. Legal Claims

         Plaintiff alleges that starting on August 7, 2015 Salinas Valley Correctional Officers Stevenson, Ramey, Heard, Soto and Graven violated his Eighth Amendment rights when they kept him in restraints for over 12 hours; refused to allow him to use the bathroom during that time; deprived him of sleep; refused to feed him for nearly 24 hours; deprived him of water and his inhaler for much of that time; and kept in unsanitary cells for much of the time. When liberally construed, plaintiff’s claims are cognizable under section 1983.

         Plaintiff names W.L. Muniz as a defendant, but offers no allegations against him. Accordingly, Muniz is DISMISSED as a defendant in this action.

         CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows:

         1. The Clerk of the Court shall issue summons and a Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of the operative complaint in this matter (Docket No. 1), all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon Salinas Valley Correctional Officers Stevenson, Ramey, Heard, Soto and Graven. The Clerk shall ...


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