United States District Court, E.D. California
MONICO J. QUIROGA, III, Plaintiff,
C. COOPER et al, Defendants.
FINDING COGNIZABLE CLAIMS AND FOR PLAINTIFF TO: (1) NOTIFY
THE COURT THAT HE IS WILLING TO PROCEED ONLY ON THE CLAIM
AGAINST DEFENDANTS COOPER AND MORENO UNDER THE FOURTEENTH
AMENDMENT; (2) FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT; OR (3) NOTIFY THE
COURT THAT HE WISHES TO STAND ON HIS COMPLAINT, SUBJECT TO
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DISTRICT JUDGE (ECF NO. 1) THIRTY DAY
J. Quiroga, III (“Plaintiff”) was a pretrial
detainee at the time of the relevant events in his complaint.
He is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. On January 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed his
complaint, which is now before this Court for screening. (ECF
No. 1). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Cooper and Moreno
assaulted him while he was in the central receiving facility.
Court finds that Plaintiff has stated a cause of action
against Defendants Cooper and Moreno for excessive force
under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court finds that
Plaintiff fails to state a viable claim against the Kern
County Sheriff's Department.
may not choose to (1) go forward with the claims against
Defendants Cooper and Moreno for excessive force only; (2)
file a first amended complaint; or (3) stand on
Plaintiff's complaint, in which case the Court will issue
Findings and Recommendations consistent with this order to
the District Judge.
party seeks permission to pursue a civil case in forma
papueris, courts will screen the complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). In particular, 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) provides that courts shall dismiss a case at any
time if it determines that, inter alia, it is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. A central function
of this screening process is to “discourage the filing
of, and waste of judicial and private resources upon,
baseless lawsuits that paying litigants generally do not
initiate because of the cost of bringing suit.”
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).
SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLANT
alleges that on September 25, 2015, he was assaulted while
being locked into Central Receiving facility in Bakersfield
as a pretrial detainee. Defendant J. Moreno struck and
punched Plaintiff several times while Plaintiff was in
restraints, resulting in substantial bodily harm. Defendant
C. Cooper also participated in the assault. Defendants'
force was excessive and unjustified.
Section 1983 Claims
Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress . . . .
42 U.S.C. § 1983.
1983 ‘is not itself a source of substantive rights,
' but merely provides ‘a method for vindicating
federal rights elsewhere conferred.'” Graham v.
Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989) (quoting Baker
v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)); see also
Chapman v. Houston Welfare Rights Org., 441 U.S. 600,
618 (1979); Hall v. City of Los Angeles, 697 F.3d
1059, 1068 (9th Cir. ...