United States District Court, E.D. California
JACKIE M. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
CALIFORNIA MEDICAL FACILITY, et al., Defendants.
DEBORAH BARNES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a former state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has consented
to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge. (ECF No. 7.)
Plaintiff's first amended complaint is before the court
forma pauperis statute provides, “Notwithstanding any
filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid,
the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder
v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a
source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method
for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).
state a claim under § 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); Ketchum v. Alameda
Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . .
. .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations
are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. Facial
plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a
defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations
are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.
conduct underlying this complaint occurred while plaintiff
was housed at California Medical Facility (“CMF”)
in Vacaville, California. The caption of the pleading
identifies these defendants: J. Portee, A. Maszk, R.
Anderson, S.W. Theard, Warden R. Fox “et al.”
Plaintiff names the defendants in their individual and
as the court can determine, plaintiff alleges as follows:
is a Black inmate who suffers from a number of ailments,
including post-traumatic stress disorder, seizure disorder,
and cardiovascular pulmonary problem. He is on multiple
medications, including “psy” medication.
complains of systemic discrimination and staff misconduct
directed at Black inmates at CMF. On an unspecified date,
plaintiff was involved in an altercation with a White inmate,
J. Ferris. Although plaintiff was defending himself against
the younger and larger Inmate Ferris, plaintiff was charged
with battery on an inmate and placed in the Secure Housing
Unit (“SHU”) term for 14 months. Inmate Ferris,
on the other hand, served only 85 days. CCI Thompson, in
collusion with Inmate Ferris, sought multiple 90-day
extensions of time to keep plaintiff in administrative
10, 2014, after his 14-month SHU term, plaintiff was
transferred to a urine- and feces-stained cell that used to
belong to Inmate Ferris. This cell, with its high risk of
infection, was located in an area known to be loud and
disconcerting all night long, providing no rest for the
nearby inmates. Plaintiff claims Inmate Ferris was taken out
of this unit because he is White, and plaintiff was placed
there because he is Black. Plaintiff accuses Inmate Ferris of
orchestrating the move in collusion with CMF staff members,
including CCI Thompson, CCI N. Clerk, CCI Carpe, Sgt. R.
Thomas, and Sgt. Infante. Plaintiff claims that “all
Defendant[s]” knew of the high risk of infection in
this cell, but placed him there anyway. As a result,
plaintiff suffered two staph infections.
inmates are routinely assaulted and denied personal items,
medication, and food. Plaintiff complained of this conduct to
the Warden, Associate Warden, and many others but to no
avail. Two months after plaintiff complained to Warden Fox,
the Black inmates were moved to another wing that was
“worse” with no hot water in the cells. Only
after the cells were closed by “the Eastern
District” were most Black inmates placed back in
unspecified date, CO Partee and CO Maszk assaulted and pepper
sprayed another Black inmate, Inmate Hunt, who was not a
threat to the officers. This conduct violated prison
regulations, was based on the ...