United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF SERVICE
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge
Ronnie Fields, an inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison
(“PBSP”), filed this pro se civil rights action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is granted leave to
proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. His complaint
is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. §
Standard of Review
federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the
court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any
claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from
a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must,
however, be liberally construed. See Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only “‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted).
Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does
not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his
‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels
and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations
omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 1974.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two essential 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. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
alleges that on September 16, 2015, he was given a new
cellmate. Prior to being celled together, the cellmate had
expressed to defendant PBSP clinician Fox that he was
suicidal and homicidal and would kill any person with whom he
was celled. On September 17, 2015, after the cellmate had
been housed in plaintiff's cell, defendant Fox approached
the cell to talk to the cellmate about his mental state. The
cellmate expressed to defendant Fox that when he had a chance
he would kill plaintiff. Nevertheless, defendant Fox failed
to have the cellmate removed. Defendant PBSP Warden Ducart
was aware of the situation but failed to intervene. As a
result, plaintiff was choked by his cellmate, causing
plaintiff to suffer physical and emotional injury. When
liberally construed, the complaint states a cognizable Eighth
Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to safety under
§ 1983 as against defendants Fox and Ducart.
foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows:
Clerk of the Court shall issue summons and the United States
Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of
the complaint (Docket No. 9), and a copy of this order upon
Warden Clark E. Ducart and B Facility Clinician Fox at
Pelican Bay State Prison.
Clerk shall also mail a courtesy copy of the complaint and
this order to the ...