United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC.
22) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE
K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Ivan Lee Matthews, is a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court screened
Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
and found that it stated a claim for damages under the Eighth
Amendment of the United States Constitution against Defendant
Holland, the warden at California Correctional Institution
(“CCI”). (Doc. 12.) On December 29, 2015,
Defendant filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. 15), which was
granted with leave to amend, (Doc. 20). Plaintiff filed the
First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) on July 1, 2016.
(Doc. 21.) Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the FAC. (Doc.
22.) Plaintiff filed his opposition (Doc. 24) to which
Defendant replied (Doc. 25). The motion is deemed submitted.
L.R. 230(l). For the reasons discussed herein,
Defendant's motion is DENIED.
is proper under Rule 12(b)(6) if there is a lack of a
cognizable legal theory, or the absence of sufficient facts
alleged under a cognizable legal theory. Conservation
Force v. Salazar, 646 F.3d 1240, 1241-42 (9th Cir.
2011), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 1762 (2012). To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual allegations, accepted as true, to state a
claim that is plausible on its face. 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)); Conservation
Force, 646 F.3d at 1242; Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The Court
must accept well-pled factual allegations as true and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Daniels-Hall v. National Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d
992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010); Sanders v. Brown, 504 F.3d
903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007); Huynh v. Chase Manhattan
Bank, 465 F.3d 992, 1003-04 (9th Cir. 2006); Morales
v. City of Los Angeles, 214 F.3d 1151, 1153 (9th Cir.
2000). Pleadings of prisoners proceeding pro se are
liberally construed and any doubt is resolved in the
inmate's favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d
1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012); Watison v. Carter, 668
F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012); Silva v. Di
Vittorio, 658 F.3d 1090, 1101 (9th Cir. 2011); Hebbe
v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010).
The First Amended Complaint
events alleged in Plaintiff's complaint occurred from May
30, 2014, to July 8, 2015, while he was incarcerated at the
California Correctional Institute (“CCI”) in the
administrative segregation unit (“ASU”), awaiting
transfer to the general population (“GP”). (Doc.
21, ¶¶ 8, 24.) Plaintiff alleges that on May 30,
2014, Defendant Warden Kim Holland, implemented a new policy
called “the guard one safety/security checks”
(“Guard One Policy”). (Id., ¶10.)
Under the Guard One Policy, every “5, 10, 15, 20
minutes - 24-hours a day, ” correctional officers used
a metal bar to loudly bang and hit another metal object on
inmates' cell doors which let out a “loud beep or
whistle.” (Id., ¶9.) Plaintiff alleges
that the noise was excessive, extremely loud and violated his
rights under the Eight Amendment. (Id., ¶10.)
asked the correctional officers why they were doing that and
informed them they were causing him pain and depriving him of
sleep. (Id., ¶11.) The officers responded that
they were aware and wanted the inmates “to 602-appeal
it” so that it would stop because they did not like it
either, but that it was not going to stop until an inmate
appealed and stopped it. (Id., ¶¶11- 13.)
When Plaintiff asked who ordered it, different correctional
officers responded it had been ordered by Warden Holland,
“mental health, ” and Sacramento. (Id.)
Mental health psych-techs were also “required to
beep” when they did their rounds and they responded to
Plaintiff's inquiry that Warden Holland had ordered it.
couple days after the Guard One Policy was implemented, the
nurse brought Plaintiff pain medication that had been
previously prescribed for him after a surgery on his neck.
(Id., ¶15.) Plaintiff told the nurse that the
Guard One Policy was causing him “severe-pain, lack of
sleep, psychological-pain/suffering.” (Id.)
The nurse responded that she could prescribe sleeping pills
for him, but Plaintiff would not be able to continue taking
his current pain medication because of potential, serious
side effects. (Id.) Plaintiff chose to remain on his
pain medication. (Id., ¶15.)
8, 2014, Plaintiff wrote a “cdcr-inmate-22-request for
interview form” to Warden Holland informing her that
correctional officers were causing excessively loud noise for
which there was no need, thereby depriving him of reasonable
sleep; however, she failed to take measures to stop it.
(Id., ¶16.) That same day, Plaintiff also sent
a “cdcr-inmate-22-request for interview form” to
the ombudsman in Sacramento in which he requested information
regarding the Guard One Policy and a copy of the policy.
(Id., ¶17.) Plaintiff met with a representative
of the ombudsman's office on June 25, 2014, and was told
that the Guard One Policy is only required to be used for the
first twenty-one days that an inmate is in ASU, that
Sacramento ordered it, and that the policy only requires
correctional officers to run beep checks once every thirty
minutes. (Id., ¶18.) Plaintiff alleges that all
three of the above requirements were “being violated
and arbitrarily misused” by Warden Holland and
correctional officers which amounted to a violation of his
rights under the Eighth Amendment. (Id.)
alleges that Warden Holland deprived him of an environment
reasonably free from excessive noise, failed to stop the
Guard One Policy on inmates who were not in ASU for
disciplinary reasons, and failed to stop correctional
officers from doing the banging/beeping checks on his
night.” (Id., ¶19.) Plaintiff alleges
this subjected him to “extreme, excessive-loud-noise,
when there was no need for it.” (Id.)
Plaintiff further alleges that Warden Holland is responsible
for the officer's actions of loudly banging on his cell
door, failed to respond to his request for an interview, and
“illegally formulated” the Guard One Policy
“on inmates” such as Plaintiff who are in ASU
more than twenty-one days and are not suicidal.
(Id., ¶¶ 20-22.)
16, 2014, Plaintiff filed a “602 appeal”
complaining about the Guard One Policy; he was interviewed by
Sergeant Ybarra on July 15, 2014. (Id., ¶23.)
Sgt. Ybarra told Plaintiff they had investigated the matter
and found that officers were not banging or hitting on the
cell doors, it was being properly implemented and the
mechanisms used did not emit excessively loud beeps.
alleges that the Guard One Policy continued to be implemented
and caused “extreme and excessive-loud-noise . . .
every night, often all night, interrupting and preventing
[him] from sleeping, when there was no need for the
excessive-loud-noise.” (Id., ¶27.) The
Guard One Policy, and the way it was implemented, allegedly
caused a violation of Plaintiff's “clearly
established constitutional rights” and resulted
“in amongst other things-(psychological-pain/treatment,
nervousness, sleep-deprivations, unable to take
sleeping-pills, anxiety, and an environment-not-free of
excess-loud-noise.)” (Id., ¶33.)
Plaintiff States a Claim for Violation of His Eighth
contends that Plaintiff does not state a claim for violation
of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Doc. 22, pp. 5-7.) Defendant
state that Plaintiff fails to show that Defendant caused
Plaintiff to suffer injury (id. at 5:5-6:13), and
that Plaintiff suffered no constitutional ...