United States District Court, E.D. California
MONICO J. QUIROGA, III, Plaintiff,
C. COOPER et al, Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FINDING COGNIZABLE CLAIM
FOR EXCESSIVE FORCE AND RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ALL OTHER
CLAIMS (DOC. NOS. 1, 13, 16.) OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN
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.
Plaintiff also attempts to bring an Eighth Amendment claim
against Defendant Kern County Sherriff.
March 9, 2017, the Court entered an order finding that
Plaintiff stated a cognizable claim for excessive force
against Defendants Cooper and Moreno, but failed to state a
cognizable claim against Defendant Kern County Sherriff. (ECF
No. 13.) That order gave Plaintiff options to: (1) notify the
Court that he is willing to proceed only on the claim against
Defendants Cooper and Moreno; (2) file a First Amended
Complaint; or (3) notify the Court that he wishes to stand on
his original complaint, subject to recommendations to the
District Judge. (Id.) On March 24, 2017, Plaintiff
filed a notice informing the Court that he is choosing to
stand on complaint, subject to recommendations to District
Judge. (ECF No. 16.)
the Court will now enter Findings and Recommendations to the
District Judge consistent with its March 9, 2017 screening
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,
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. 2012); Crowley v. Nevada, 678
F.3d 730, 734 (9th Cir. 2012); Anderson v. Warner,
451 F.3d 1063, 1067 (9th Cir. 2006).
state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must
allege that (1) the defendant acted under color of state law
and (2) the defendant deprived him or her of rights secured
by the Constitution or federal law. Long v. County of Los
Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006). “A
person ‘subjects' another to the deprivation of a
constitutional right, within the meaning of section
1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in
another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act
which he is legally required to do that causes the
deprivation of which complaint is made.” Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). “The
requisite causal connection can be established not only by
some kind of direct, personal participation ...