United States District Court, E.D. California
DOMINIQUE D. BAKER, Plaintiff,
HUMBERTO GERMAN, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING ACTION
PROCEED ON PLAINTIFF'S CLAIM OF EXCESSIVE FORCE AGAINST
DEFENDANTS HUMBERTO GERMAN AND PHILLIP HOLGUIN AND DISMISSING
WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT CLAIM [ECF NO. 18]
Dominique Baker is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
This matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302.
Pending before the Court is the April 24, 2017, second
filed the original complaint in this action on December 15,
2016 (ECF No. 1) and a first amended complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) on February 6, 2017
(ECF No. 11.) On April 6, 2017, the Court screened the first
amended complaint and found that Plaintiff stated a
cognizable claim for excessive force against Defendants
Humberto German and Phillip Holguin. However, the Court found
that Plaintiff failed to state a cognizable claim for false
allegations, failure to supervise, false imprisonment, cruel
and unusual punishment, and equal protection violation. (ECF
No. 15.) The Court granted Plaintiff the option of either
filing a second amended complaint or notifying the Court of
his intent to proceed only on the claim of excessive force.
On April 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed the second amended
complaint that is now before the Court. (ECF No. 18.)
Court is required to screen Plaintiff's complaint and
dismiss the case, in whole or in part, if the Court
determines it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). 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. Walmart 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.
litigants are entitled to have their pleadings liberally
construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor,
Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121-23 (9th Cir.
2012); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir.
2010), but Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible
to survive screening, which requires sufficient factual
detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer
possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not
sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short
of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678.
April 23, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., Plaintiff was inside his
assigned cell at Corcoran State Prison. Officers Humberto
German and Phillip Holguin approached Plaintiff's cell
and ordered him to be “handcuffed” and escorted
Plaintiff to the building holding cage. Plaintiff underwent
an unclothed body search and was then handcuffed and escorted
to the holding case. After being uncuffed, Plaintiff
exchanged words with Defendants German and Holguin. Defendant
Humberto German removed his state issued pepper spray
canister and began spraying Plaintiff in the face and torso.
Plaintiff went into shock and was not able to see and
breathe. Plaintiff then heard Defendant Humberto German order
Phillip Holguin to pepper spray the Plaintiff. Both
Defendants pepper sprayed Plaintiff until the canisters were
empty. Plaintiff did not talk with the prison arresting
agency, no photographs were taken, nor was he advised of his
contends that the State is responsible for his illegal arrest
and wrongful imprisonment. Both Defendants should have known
that the arrest of Plaintiff was illegal and he was deprived
of due process of the law.