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Bowen v. Wright

United States District Court, N.D. California

August 8, 2016

KRISTOFFER BOWEN, AZ9235, Plaintiff,
v.
JARRET WRIGHT, Correctional Deputy, Defendant(s).

          ORDER OF SERVICE OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 25)

          SALLIE KIM United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff, a former pretrial detainee at the Santa Clara County Jail (SCCJ), has filed a pro se First Amended Complaint (FAC) for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that on February 22, 2014, while being booked into SCCJ, Correctional Deputy Jarret Wright “tightened [his] waist chains to the point [he] couldn’t breath[e]” and he “lost consciousness” and fell, hitting and injuring his head. FAC (ECF No. 25) at 3.

         The FAC is properly before the undersigned for screening because plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Federal 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. 1990).

         To 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).

         B. Legal Claims

         The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects a post-arraignment detainee from the use of excessive force that amounts to punishment. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 395 n.10 (1989) (citing Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535-39 (1979)). But the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness standard sets the applicable constitutional limitations on the treatment of a pre-arraignment detainee. Pierce v. Multnomah County, Oregon, 76 F.3d 1032, 1043 (9th Cir. 1996). Liberally construed, plaintiff’s allegations that, during the course of booking him, Correctional Deputy Jarret Wright tightened his waist chain to the point where he could not breathe and he lost consciousness and fell, hitting and injuring his head, states a cognizable § 1983 claim for damages against Wright for use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

         CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons and for good cause shown, 1. The clerk shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, (1) a copy of the operative FAC (ECF No. 25) in this matter and all attachments thereto, (2) a notice of assignment of prisoner case to a United States magistrate judge and accompanying magistrate judge jurisdiction consent or declination to consent form (requesting that each defendant consent or decline to consent within 28 days of receipt of ...


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