United States District Court, E.D. California
KENNETH E. HOLLAND, Plaintiff,
E. PALUBICKI, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING IFP AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT
TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He seeks leave to
proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court
directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and
forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee
as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
Screening Requirement and Standards
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).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
court has reviewed plaintiff's complaint pursuant to
§ 1915A and finds that the allegations are too vague and
conclusory to state a cognizable claim for relief. Plaintiff
claims he was being held in a cage “due to safety
concerns and fears . . . from threats . . . made by another
inmate” earlier in the day.” ECF No. 1 at
Defendant Palubicki allegedly “dragged” plaintiff
from the cage and forced him back on the yard, even though,
based on plaintiff's “reasonable assumption,
” defendant knew about plaintiff's safety concerns.
Id. at 6-7. Out of fear for his safety, plaintiff
returned to the Program Office for help. Id. at 7.
Defendant then threatened to remove plaintiff by force if he
did not leave the office. Id. Plaintiff felt he had
no choice but to return to the yard. Id. According
to the complaint, defendant's “unprofessional and
abusively aggressive conduct has left [plaintiff] more
fearful for [his] life.” Id. Plaintiff adds
that defendant's “callous disregard for [his]
concerns is unconstitutional, as [he has] a right to
reasonable security.” Id. Plaintiff also
claims that defendant's “use of force was
unwarranted, as [plaintiff] posed no threat to his or his
staff's safety and [ ] continued to remain passive as
[defendant] physically violated [plaintiff's] right to be
free from unnecessary use of force and restraint.”
Id. Plaintiff seeks $20 million in damages.
Id. at 3.
does not identify any specific claims for relief in the
complaint. Under the standards governing claims based on
excessive force and failure to protect in violation of the
Eighth Amendment, discussed below, the allegations fail to
state a cognizable claim. To proceed, plaintiff must file an
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (1)
the violation of a federal constitutional or statutory right;
and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting
under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d
930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).
individual defendant is not liable on a civil rights claim
unless the facts establish the defendant's personal
involvement in the constitutional deprivation or a causal
connection between the defendant's wrongful conduct and
the alleged constitutional deprivation. See Hansen v.
Black, 88 ...