United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
AMEND (ECF NO. 1)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Sam Consiglio, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) is a civil
detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action. Plaintiff has consented to magistrate
judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff’s complaint,
filed on June 26, 2015, is currently before the Court for
Screening Requirement and Standard
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).
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, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). The pleadings of
detainees are construed liberally and are afforded the
benefit of any doubt. Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729
F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th Cir. 2013); Hebbe v. Pliler,
627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, “the
liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a
plaintiff's factual allegations, ” Neitze v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989), and “a
liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not
supply essential elements of the claim that were not
initially pled, ” Bruns v. Nat’l Credit Union
Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting
Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir.
1982)). Also, while a plaintiff’s allegations are taken
as true, courts “are not required to indulge
unwarranted inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
survive screening, Plaintiff’s claims must be facially
plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow
the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss
v. United States Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th
Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted
unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with
liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility
standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949
(quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
is currently detained at Coalinga State Hospital, and names
Audrey King, the Executive Director, as the sole defendant.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated his First Amendment
rights by denying him his right to purchase a computer with
internet access. Plaintiff asserts that the computer with
internet access is needed because the state made up a mental
disorder so that he would be committed for life, and he seeks
to “[get] himself out of this nightmare.”
Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant claims her actions
are to prevent patients from obtaining pornography. Plaintiff
says this is “absurd” because patients at
Coalinga can obtain pornography and other materials from
hospital staff that bring in contraband. Plaintiff seeks an
order directing Defendant to allow him to purchase a computer
with internet access.
Detainees at Coalinga State Hospital
alleges that he is a detainee at Coaling State Hospital in
Coalinga, California. The Court takes judicial notice of the
record from the Court of Appeal of the State of California,
Fourth District, Division 1, Case No. D063173, affirming the
judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Case No.
MH107124, showing that Plaintiff has been involuntarily
committed for an indeterminate term to the custody of the
State of California Department of State Hospitals, after he
was found to be a sexually violent predator
(“SVP”) within the meaning of the Sexually
Violent Predators Act (“SVP Act”), Welf. &
Inst.Code, 1 § 6600 et seq. People v.
Consiglio, No. D063173, 2014 WL 643758, (Cal.Ct.App.
Feb. 20, 2014), review denied (May 21,
determined to be an SVP, a detainee must have been convicted
of a sexually violent offense and have a diagnosed mental
disorder that makes it “likely that he . . . will
engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.” Cal.
Welf. & Instit. Code § 6606(a)(1). Sexually violent
offenses include acts such as rape, spousal rape, aggravated
sexual assault of a child, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts
involving children, oral copulation, continuous sexual abuse
of a child and penetration by a foreign object, or kidnaping
or assault with the intent to commit one of these other
crimes. Cal. Welf. & Instit. Code 6000(b). The sexually
violent act must have been committed “by force,
violence, duress, menace, fear of immediate and unlawful
bodily injury on the victim or another person, or threatening
to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other
person . . . .” Id. SVPs may be held for an
indeterminate term but the continued need for detention must
be reviewed annually. Cal. Welf. & Inst.Code §
§ 6604, 6605.
SVPs are not prisoners, they are detained to protect others
from them as well as to provide them treatment.
“Sexually violent predators are involuntarily committed
because their mental disease makes them dangerous to others.
Neither the commitment nor the evaluation proceeding is
something they themselves seek in order to obtain a cure. The
state evaluates and commits to protect others from
them.” Seaton v. Mayberg, 610 F.3d 530, 540
(9th Cir. 2010) (internal citation omitted). The SVP Act
“is aimed at protecting society from, and providing
treatment for, that ‘ small but extremely dangerous
group of sexually violent predators’ who have
diagnosable mental disorders identified while they are
incarcerated for designated violent sex crimes, and who are
determined to be unsafe and, if released, to represent a
danger to others through acts of sexual violence.”
Garcetti v. Superior Court, 85 Cal.App.4th 1113,
1117 (2000) (quoting Stats.1995, ch. 763, § 1)).
SVP, Plaintiff is not entitled to full constitutional rights.
See Overton v. Bazzetta, 539 U.S. 126, 131 (2003).
However, he is entitled to substantive rights which include:
adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, safety and
freedom from unnecessary bodily restraint, as well as
“minimally adequate or reasonable training to ensure
safety and freedom from undue [physical] restraint.”
Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 315-16, 319
(1982). Restrictions imposed on SVPs need not be the least
intrusive or those that the Court agrees with, as long as
they advance a legitimate interest of the hospital.
Valdez v. Rosenbaum, 302 F.3d 1039, 1046 (9th Cir.
2002) (a particular condition or restriction on detainee that
is reasonably related to legitimate governmental objective
does not, without more, amount to punishment); Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 540 (1979) (institutional
policies and practices “are peculiarly within the
province and professional expertise of corrections
officials” as long as they are not an
“exaggerated response” to institutional needs for
order and security).