United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
M. KELLISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court
is plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1).
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Moreover, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that
complaints contain a “. . . short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This means that claims
must be stated simply, concisely, and directly. See
McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996)
(referring to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e)(1)). These rules are
satisfied if the complaint gives the defendant fair notice of
the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it
rests. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th
Cir. 1996). Because plaintiff must allege with at least some
degree of particularity overt acts by specific defendants
which support the claims, vague and conclusory allegations
fail to satisfy this standard. Additionally, it is impossible
for the court to conduct the screening required by law when
the allegations are vague and conclusory.
Statement of Claim in its entirety states as follows:
On September 3rd, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. I was told to
leave to R&R. I haven't been notified of any
transfer, I was not told to transpack, I was not given any
plastic bags to put my property in it. I was told that
transfer order came directly from Sacramento indicating that
CDRC Director Jeffery Beard himself issued this order since
only he can issue order to wardens of California prisons. I
was then told that I'm going to High Desert Prison where
officer Albert Payne tried to kill me on May 5th,
2015. I was the only prisoner scheduled to be transferred. I
have court deadline of 9/15/15 for case 2:14-cv-2120-KJM-GGH
pending in this court and I need to stay here to submit my
only relief Plaintiff is requesting is: “I need to stop
transfer immediately to prevent me from getting murdered by
CDCR. I'm seeking injunctive order to stop this.”
have no liberty interest in avoiding being transferred to
another prison. See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S.
238, 245 (1983); Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215,
225-27 (1976); United States v. Brown, 59 F.3d 102,
105 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam). Inmates have “no
justifiable expectation” that they will be incarcerated
in any particular prison, and transferring an inmate to
another prison does not infringe a protected liberty
interest. Olim, 461 U.S. at 245; Vitek v.
Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 489 (1980). To the extent plaintiff
is requesting the court to order that he remain at a
particular prison to facilitate prosecuting a legal action,
he has no liberty interest and therefore cannot state a
possible plaintiff is attempting to allege a violation of his
Eighth Amendment rights. To that extent, it is noted that the
treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions
under which the prisoner is confined are subject to scrutiny
under the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual
punishment. See Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31
(1993); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
The Eighth Amendment “. . . embodies broad and
idealistic concepts of dignity, civilized standards,
humanity, and decency.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 102 (1976). Conditions of confinement may, however,
be harsh and restrictive. See Rhodes v. Chapman, 452
U.S. 337, 347 (1981). Nonetheless, prison officials must
provide prisoners with “food, clothing, shelter,
sanitation, medical care, and personal safety.”
Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1107 (9th Cir.
1986). A prison official violates the Eighth Amendment only
when two requirements are met: (1) objectively, the
official's act or omission must be so serious such that
it results in the denial of the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities; and (2) subjectively, the prison
official must have acted unnecessarily and wantonly for the
purpose of inflicting harm. See Farmer, 511 U.S. at
834. Thus, to violate the Eighth Amendment, a prison official
must have a “sufficiently culpable mind.” See
these principles, prison officials have a duty to take
reasonable steps to protect inmates from physical abuse.
See Hoptowit v. Ray, 682 F.2d 1237, 1250-51 (9th
Cir. 1982); Farmer, 511 U.S. at 833. Liability
exists only when two requirements are met: (1) objectively,
the prisoner was incarcerated under conditions presenting a
substantial risk of serious harm; and (2) subjectively,
prison officials knew of and disregarded the risk. See
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. The very obviousness of the
risk may suffice to establish the knowledge element. See
Wallis v. Baldwin, 70 F.3d 1074, 1077 (9th Cir. 1995).
Prison officials are not liable, however, if evidence is
presented that they lacked knowledge of a safety risk.
See Farmer, 511 U.S. at 844. The knowledge element
does not require that the plaintiff prove that prison
officials know for a certainty that the inmate's safety
is in danger, but it requires proof of more than a mere
suspicion of danger. See Berg v. Kincheloe, 794 F.2d
457, 459 (9th Cir. 1986). Finally, the plaintiff must show
that prison officials disregarded a risk. Thus, where prison
officials actually knew of a substantial risk, they are not
liable if they took reasonable steps to respond to the risk,
even if harm ultimately was not averted. See Farmer,
511 U.S. at 844.
extent plaintiff alleges his safety is at risk by a transfer
to High Desert State Prison, he fails to allege the defendant
actually placed him in harms way. There is no indication that
plaintiff was ever transferred to High Desert State Prison,
nor that there was any actual intent to do so. Rather is
appears that plaintiffs allegations are based on his own
speculation or rumor, which are insufficient to state a claim
for failure to protect. Nor is there any plausible indication
that his safety was ever actually in danger.
it does not appear possible that the deficiencies identified
herein can be cured by amending the complaint, plaintiff is
not entitled to leave to amend prior to dismissal of the
entire action. See Lopez ...