United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
SUZANNE H. SEGAL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
16, 2016,  Norris Dajon Miller
(“Plaintiff”), a California state prisoner
proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights. (Dkt.
No. 1). Congress mandates that district courts perform an
initial screening of complaints in civil actions where a
prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). This Court may dismiss
such a complaint, or any portion thereof, before service of
process if the complaint (1) is frivolous or malicious, (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1-2); see also
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 & n.7
(9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). For the reasons stated below, the
Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend.
OF THE COMPLAINT
sues the following individuals: (1) Officer John Dixon of the
Hawthorne Police Department; (2) Officer Sean Judd of the
Hawthorne Police Department; and (3) Charlie Beck, the Chief
of Police at “LAPD” (collectively
“Defendants”). (Complaint at 2).
alleges that, on February 10, 2016, Dixon and Judd assaulted
Plaintiff in front of a restaurant in Hawthorne, California.
(Id. at 3). Plaintiff claims that, while he was
lying on the ground, Judd “put his knee in
[Plaintiff’s] back extremely hard, ” which
prevented Plaintiff from breathing, and Judd then handcuffed
Plaintiff “extremely tight.” (Id.).
Dixon allegedly “punched [Plaintiff] in [his] rib cage
twice maliciously and sadistically to cause harm while
[Plaintiff] was handcuffed [and] pinned to the ground.”
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Dixon and Judd were
“under [Beck’s] command” and that Beck
ordered them to assault Plaintiff. (Id. at 4).
claims that during the assault he could not breathe due to
his asthma; his rib cage hurt for three days following the
assault; and he now suffers from “heartache, ”
pain, “bad nerves, ” and “emotional
stress.” (Id. at 3-5). Plaintiff maintains
that he was never read his Miranda rights, he
“didn’t do anything wrong, ” and he was not
permitted to make a statement to the police about the
assault. (Id. at 3-4). Plaintiff claims that
Defendants’ conduct violated the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments and seeks seven hundred million dollars in
damages. (Id. at 3-5).
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the
Complaint due to pleading defects. However, the Court must
grant a pro se litigant leave to amend his defective
complaint unless “it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment.” Akhtar v. Mesa, 698 F.3d 1202,
1212 (9th Cir. 2012) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). For reasons discussed below, it is not
“absolutely clear” that the defects of
Plaintiff’s Complaint could not be cured by amendment,
and the Complaint is therefore DISMISSED with leave to
Fails To State A Claim Against Defendant Beck
alleges that Dixon and Judd were under Beck’s command
and that Beck ordered them to assault Plaintiff. (Complaint
at 4). Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to section
1983 suits, “a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official’s
own individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009). The
plaintiff must establish either the official’s personal
participation in the unlawful conduct or “a sufficient
causal connection” between the official’s conduct
and the alleged constitutional violation. Starr v.
Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011).
allegations that Beck violated Plaintiff’s
constitutional rights are conclusory, vague, and implausible.
The Complaint contains no specific factual allegations that
Beck was personally involved in or caused the assault.
Moreover, while the Complaint correctly identifies Beck as
the Chief of Police for the “LAPD, ” i.e., the
City of Los Angeles Police ...