United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF SERVICE
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
currently a California prisoner, filed this pro se civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Mendocino County Sherriff’s Office (“MCSO”)
and four MCSO officials based on events that took place while
Plaintiff was at the Mendocino County Jail.Plaintiff’s
application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted
in a separate order. For the reasons explained below, the
complaint is ordered served upon Defendants.
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. Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct.
2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although to state a
claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual
allegations, . . . a plaintiff’s obligation to provide
the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations
omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 1974.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two 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).
alleges that defendants Deputy S. Siderakis and Deputy J.
Woida punched and kicked him repeatedly in his jail cell on
January 1, 2016. He alleges that he was not threatening them
or anyone, but merely tried to defend himself during the
altercation by covering his face with his arms. He also
alleges that he suffered facial injuries, two black eyes, a
bloody nose, contusions and swelling, and a broken ankle. He
further alleges that he did not receive any medical care for
his injuries because the jail nurses were told by unnamed
deputies not to care for him. According to Plaintiff,
defendants Captain Timothy Pearce (the Facility Commander)
and Lieutenant Bednar (the Second-in-Command) did not
discipline Deputies Siderakis and Woida for their conduct,
and knew about the Deputies’ history of violent conduct
towards inmates. Plaintiff asserts Pearce and Bednar have
condoned violent treatment of inmates at the jail.
liberally construed, Plaintiff’s allegations state
cognizable claims against defendants Siderakis, Woida,
Pearce, Bednar and the MCSO for violating his constitutional
rights by subjecting him to the use of excessive force and
failing to provide him with adequate safety and medical care.
noted that the precise constitutional rights at issue depend
on whether Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee or had already
been convicted when the violations occurred. When a pretrial
detainee challenges conditions of his confinement, the proper
inquiry is whether the conditions amount to punishment in
violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 n.16
(1979). A sentenced inmate, on the other hand, may not be
subject conditions of confinement that are "cruel and
unusual" under the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 535
n.16; see Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447-48
(9th Cir. 2000) (prisoner who has been convicted but not yet
sentenced should be treated as sentenced prisoner, rather
than pretrial detainee). Plaintiff does not indicate in his
complaint whether he was a pretrial detainee when the
violations occurred. Defendants are presumably able to access
that information, however, so he will not be required to
amend the complaint at this time. Moreover, this distinction
may not make a difference in the analysis of
Plaintiff’s claims because even though pretrial
detainees' claims arise under the Due Process Clause, the
Eighth Amendment may serve as a benchmark for evaluating
those claims. Redman v. County of San Diego, 942
F.2d 1435, 1443 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc) (citation omitted)
(“The requirement of conduct that amounts to
'deliberate indifference' provides an appropriate
balance of the pretrial detainees' right to not be
punished with the deference given to prison officials to
manage the prisons.”); see, e.g.,
Carnell v. Grimm, 74 F.3d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1996)
(Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference standard applicable
to pretrial detainees' medical claims) .
Clerk shall issue a summons and Magistrate Judge jurisdiction
consent form and the United States Marshal shall serve,
without prepayment of fees, the summons, Magistrate Judge
jurisdiction consent form, a copy of the complaint with
attachments, and a copy of this order on the Mendocino County
Sherriff’s Office, and on Captain Timothy Pearce,
Lieutenant Bednar, Deputy S. Siderakis, and Deputy J. Woida
at the Mendocino County Sherriff’s Office.
Clerk shall also mail a courtesy copy of the Magistrate Judge
jurisdiction consent form, the complaint with all attachments
and a copy of this order ...