United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF SERVICE
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an inmate at the Sonoma County Jail, filed this civil rights
case under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against officers and employees of
the Santa Rosa Police Department for using excessive force
during the course of his arrest. He is granted leave to
proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. For the
reasons discussed below, the complaint is ordered served upon
Standard of Review
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any
cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri
v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only '"give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v.
Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted).
Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does
not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds of his
'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels
and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations
omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face."
Id. at 1974.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. 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 deprivation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
alleges that after a chase by officers of the Santa Rosa
Police Department, he got out of his truck, lay down flat on
his stomach on the ground with his arms spread and told the
officers he was not resisting. He alleges that defendant
Officer Michael Datzold sicced a police dog on plaintiff, and
the dog bit plaintiff on the arm and the side. Defendant
Officer Ian H. Berner stood over him while he was being bit
and told him to stop resisting. Defendants Officer Woods and
Detective M. Spediacci were present and failed to intervene.
When liberally construed, these allegations state a
cognizable claim against defendants Datzold, Berner, Woods
and Spediacci for using excessive force during
plaintiff's arrest in violation of his Fourth Amendment
only allegation against defendant Hank Schreeder is that he
is the Chief of Police, and the only allegation against
defendant Jeneane R. Kucker is that she is a supervisor.
These allegations are not sufficient to state a cognizable
claim against them because supervisors are not liable for the
actions of their subordinates under Section 1983. See
Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989)
(there is no respondeat superior liability under Section
reasons set out above, it is hereby ordered as follows:
claims against defendants Schreeder ...