United States District Court, E.D. California
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks relief
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested leave to
proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to
proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency
to collect the initial partial filing fee from
plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the Clerk of
the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated for
monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust
account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate
agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221,
1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The
critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however
inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis.
See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir.
1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
order to 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.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555-557 (2007). In other words, “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
Furthermore, a claim upon which the court can grant relief
has 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
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, 127 S.Ct.
2197, 2200 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
names multiple defendants at the Department of State
Hospitals, located on the campus of the California Health
Care Facility in Stockton, California. In May 2016, plaintiff
was housed there to receive treatment for mental illness.
Plaintiff alleges that, during a May 5, 2016 cell extraction
when he was suicidal, several defendants used excessive force
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff alleges that
he received injuries including a bloody nose, two black eyes,
ruptured veins in both eyes, bruises, back pain, and a skull
Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
“[T]he unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain . . .
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the
Eighth Amendment.” Whitely v. Albers, 475 U.S.
312, 319 (1986). “The Eighth Amendment's
prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments necessarily
excludes from constitutional recognition de minimis uses of
physical force, provided that the use of force is not of a
sort repugnant to the conscience of mankind.”
Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34, 37-38 (2010) (quoting
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9 (1992)) (internal
every malevolent touch by a prison guard gives rise to a
federal cause of action. Wilkins, 559 U.S. at 37
(quoting Hudson, 503 U.S. at 9) (quotation marks
omitted). In determining whether the use of force was wanton
and unnecessary, courts may evaluate the extent of the
prisoner's injury, the need for application of force, the
relationship between that need and the amount of force used,
the threat reasonably perceived by the responsible officials,
and any efforts made to temper the severity of a forceful
response. Hudson, 503 U.S. at 7 (quotation marks and
citations omitted). While the absence of a serious injury is
relevant to the Eighth Amendment inquiry, it does not end it.
Hudson, 503 U.S. at 7. The malicious and sadistic
use of force to cause harm always violates contemporary
standards of decency. Wilkins, 559 U.S. at 37
(quoting Hudson, 503 U.S. at 9) (quotation marks
omitted). Thus, it is the use of force rather than the
resulting injury which ultimately counts. Id. at
1178. Mere negligence is not actionable under §1983 in
the prison context. Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051,
1060 (9th Cir. 2004).
carefully reviewed the complaint and attachments, the
undersigned concludes that the complaint states cognizable
Eighth Amendment claims against defendants Richardson and
Wagner, both of whom ...