United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IFP AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND
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).
complaint (ECF No. 1), plaintiff names the Siskiyou County
Jail, the Siskiyou County Jail Medical Staff, and Lieutenant
Houston as defendants. Plaintiff alleges that another inmate
injured plaintiff's eye during a physical altercation.
Plaintiff received treatment for the injury at a nearby
hospital. Upon his return to the Jail, his eye was reinjured.
Plaintiff alleges he is in pain and that despite his requests
for medical care, his eye has still “not been
fixed.” He claims that he has been in “real need
of medical attention” for over 90 days.
fails to link defendant Houston to any violation of his
federal rights. In addition, plaintiff's naming of
unnamed “medical staff” as defendants is
problematic. Unknown persons cannot be served with process
until they are identified by their real names and the court
will not investigate the names and identities of unnamed
defendants. Moreover, plaintiff does not identify any claims
for relief. Under the standards governing Eighth Amendment
claims based on failure to protect or to provide adequate
medical care, 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). An 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, 885
F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989); Johnson v. Duffy, 588
F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978).
a municipal entity or its departments is liable under section
1983 only if plaintiff shows that his constitutional injury
was caused by employees acting pursuant to the
municipality's policy or custom. Mt. Healthy City
Sch. Dist. Bd. of Ed. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 280
(1977); Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978); Villegas v. Gilroy
Garlic Festival Ass'n, 541 F.3d 950, 964 (9th Cir.
2008). Here, plaintiff fails to state a claim against the
Siskiyou County Jail because he has not sufficiently alleged
that he was injured as a result of employees acting pursuant
to any policy or custom of the County. Local government
entities may not be held ...