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Grant v. Heisol

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 14, 2017

RUSSELL S. GRANT, Plaintiff,
HEISOL, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on September 6, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) On February 13, 2017, this Court dismissed Plaintiff's civil rights complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff's first amended complaint is before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 9.) He has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6.) No other parties have appeared.

         I. Screening Requirement

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “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).

         II. Pleading Standard

         Section 1983 provides a cause of action against any person who deprives an individual of federally guaranteed rights “under color” of state law. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A 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)), and courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences, ” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), but nevertheless, the mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting the plausibility standard, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (“CSATF”) in Corcoran, California, however his claims stem from events that began at the Sierra Conservation Center (“SCC”), a state prison in Jamestown, California, and carried over to Plaintiff's subsequent institutions.

         Plaintiff names numerous Defendants: Officers Heisol, Wright, Osten, Hernandez, and J. Delgado of SCC; Officer Gomez of California Training Facility (“CTF”); Officers Burke and Hall of Pelican Bay State Prison (“PBSP”); psychiatrist Dr. Maddox of SCC; Nurse Valera of SCC; Doe Officers 1-2 of SCC, John Doe 7, a nurse or correctional officer at SCC; John Doe 8, a psychiatrist at PBSP; Doe Officer 9 of PBSP; Doe Officer 10 of CTF; and numerous John Doe inmates housed at SCC and CTF.

         Plaintiff's allegations are as follows:

         On the night of February 17, 2016, Plaintiff was housed in the administrative segregation unit (“ad-seg”) of SCC. Doe Officers 1 and 2 arrived at Plaintiff's cell and Doe 1 told Plaintiff he was moving to another cell.[1] Plaintiff believes these Defendants did not actually intend to move Plaintiff to another cell. Doe 1 shackled Plaintiff before he left the cell.

         Once Plaintiff was in the hallway, Defendant Heisol stated to Plaintiff, “You told ISU I had drugs!” Plaintiff was confused by that statement. Two inmates[2] began aggressively shoving Plaintiff in the hallway in the direction of an awaiting CDCR van. Plaintiff attempted to resist, but could not because of the shackles. Next, two more inmates each pulled out a prison knife. One inmate said, “Don't make us[ ] use this on you.” Doe Defendant 1, a correctional officer, placed Plaintiff in the van. Defendant Hernandez drove the van to the main medical building. Doe Defendant 1 and Hernandez hurried Plaintiff into the building.

         Inside the medical building, four inmates attacked Plaintiff. Each inmate grabbed one of Plaintiff's body parts. One inmate pulled Plaintiff's pants down. Another brandished a medical knife and stated, “You snitchin', I will cut yo' d**k off.” Doe Defendant 7, a nurse or correctional officer, did not stop the inmates from grabbing the medical knife. As the inmates continued assaulting, threatening, and intimidating Plaintiff, Defendants Heisol, Hernandez, and Does 1 and 7 conspired to allow the inmates to harm Plaintiff. Defendants knew that the inmates would harm Plaintiff when they provided the inmates with knives. They did not stop the inmates from attacking Plaintiff. Plaintiff believes Defendant Heisol conspired with the other Defendants because Heisol had been caught with drugs.

         After the attack Plaintiff was taken to Sonora Regional Hospital in Sonora, California, “for a false medical reason” written up by Doe 7.

         On February 21, 2016, Plaintiff was discharged from the hospital and returned to SCC. He was housed in “OHU, ” which is in the main medical area. On February 22, 2016, Plaintiff was returned to ad-seg. That day, Doe Defendant 8, a correctional officer, telephoned Defendant Dr. Maddox. Dr. Maddox arrived in ad-seg and told Plaintiff he was there because an officer called him and he wanted to ask Plaintiff some questions. Plaintiff told Dr. Maddox about the assault, as well as the fact that drugs were injected into Plaintiff. Plaintiff also described the intimidation he suffered and his visits to the hospital. Dr. Maddox told Plaintiff he could help get Plaintiff out of ad-seg by putting Plaintiff into a program. Dr. Maddox conspired with other Defendants to be deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's health and safety.

         On February 23, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to the PBSP Mental Health/Suicide Program unit. The next day, Plaintiff was seen by Doe Defendant 8, a psychiatrist, for an initial evaluation. Plaintiff explained to Doe Defendant 8 that he was not suicidal, and was manipulated into entering the program. Doe Defendant 8 stated Plaintiff needed to remain in the program for five days before he could be cleared.

         Throughout Plaintiff's stay at PBSP, Defendants Hall and Burke would not allow Plaintiff to shower. Burke continuously marked Plaintiff down for false ...

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