United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (DOC.
Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
complains of events surrounding his placement on a 24-hour
suicide watch at the Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility.
Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable claim and the Complaint
is dismissed with leave to amend.
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,
malicious, 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);
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). If an action is
dismissed on one of these three bases, a strike is imposed
per 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). An inmate who has had three or
more prior actions or appeals dismissed as frivolous,
malicious, or for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, and has not alleged imminent danger of
serious physical injury does not qualify to proceed in
forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g);
Richey v. Dahne, 807 F.3d 1201, 1208 (9th Cir.
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).
names Warden Stuart Sherman, Lieutenant D. Plunket, Sergeant
J. Borges, and the CDCR as Defendants and seeks monetary
damages. Plaintiff outlines three Causes of Action/Claims:
(1) cruel and unusual punishment; (2) deliberate
indifference; and (3) negligence. These claims are premised
on Plaintiff being placed on suicide watch.
does not state any cognizable claims, but may be able to
amend to correct the deficiencies in his pleading and is
being given the applicable standards based on his stated
claims and leave to file a first amended complaint.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil
actions, with limited exceptions, " none of which
applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema
N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a).
A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . .
. ." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a). "Such a statement must
simply give the defendant fair notice of what the
plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512.
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), quoting
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 that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual
allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are
not. Iqbal. at 678; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009);
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557.
“plaintiffs [now] face a higher burden of pleadings
facts . . ., ” Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d
949, 977 (9th Cir. 2009), the pleadings of pro se prisoners
are still construed liberally and are afforded the benefit of
any doubt. Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237,
1241 (9th Cir. 2013); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338,
342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, "the liberal pleading
standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual
allegations, " Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 330 n.9 (1989), "a liberal interpretation of a
civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of
the claim that were not initially pled, " Bruns v.
Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th
Cir. 1997) quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d
266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982), 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). The “sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is
not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely
consistent with' a defendant's liability” fall
short of satisfying the plausibility standard.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949;
Moss, 572 F.3d at 969. Plaintiff must identify
specific facts supporting the existence of substantively
plausible claims for relief. Johnson v. City of
Shelby, __ U.S. __, __, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014) (per
curiam) (citation omitted).
chooses to file a first amended complaint, Plaintiff should
endeavor to make it as concise as possible. He should merely
state which of his constitutional rights he feels were
violated by each Defendant and its factual basis. Plaintiff
should also state the date that the incidents he complains of
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 there must be an
actual connection or link between the actions of the
defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered
by Plaintiff. See Monell v. Department of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode,
423 U.S. 362 (1976).
1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of
Plaintiff s constitutional or other federal rights by persons
acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead,
580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los
Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006);
Jones, 297 F.3d at 934. “Section 1983 is not
itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a
method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere
conferred.” Crowley v. Nevada ex rel. Nevada Sec
'y of State, 678 F.3d 730, 734 (9th Cir. 2012)
(citing Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94, 109
S.Ct. 1865 (1989)) (internal quotation marks omitted). To
state a claim, Plaintiff must allege facts demonstrating the
existence of a link, or causal connection, between each
defendant's actions or omissions and a violation of his
federal rights. Lemire v. California Dep't of Corr.
and Rehab., 726 F.3d 1062, 1074-75 (9th Cir. 2013);
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1205-08 (9th Cir.
Ninth Circuit has held that A[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). 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.
must clarify which defendant he feels are responsible for
each violation of his constitutional rights and the factual
basis for each violation to put each Defendant on notice of
Plaintiffs claims against him or her. See Austin v.
Terhune, 367 F.3d 1167, 1171 (9th Cir. 2004).
may not sustain an action against a state prison. The
Eleventh Amendment prohibits federal courts from hearing
suits brought against a state sovereign. Brooks v.
Sulphur Springs Valley Elec. Co.,951 F.2d 1050, 1053
(9th Cir. 1991); see also Seminole Tribe of Fla. v.
Florida,116 S.Ct. 1114, 1122 (1996); Puerto Rico
Aqueduct Sewer Auth. v. Metcalf & Eddy Inc., 506
U.S. 139, 144 (1993); Austin v. State Indus. Ins.
Sys., 939 F.2d 676, 677 (9th Cir. 1991). The Eleventh
Amendment bars suits against state agencies as well as those
where the state itself is named as a defendant. See
Natural Resources Defense Council v. California Dep't of
Tranp., 96 F.3d 420, 421 (9th Cir. 1996); Brooks v.
Sulphur Springs Valley Elec. Co., 951 F.2d 1050, 1053
(9th Cir. 1991); Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045
(9th Cir. 1989) (concluding that Nevada Department of Prisons
was a state agency entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity);
Mitchell v. Los Angeles Community College Dist., 861
F.2d 198, 201 (9th Cir. 1989). “Though its language
might suggest otherwise, the Eleventh Amendment has long been
construed to extend to suits brought against a state by its
own citizens, as well as by citizens of other states.”
Brooks, 951 F.2d at 1053 (citations omitted).
“The Eleventh ...