United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDING CERTAIN CLAIMS COGNIZABLE ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO: (1)
NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE IS WILLING TO PROCEED ONLY ON THE
CLAIM AGAINST DEFENDANTS UNKNOWN DEFENDANT #1, M. OWENS, E.
TORRES, J. VALENCIA, S. PANO, M. BENEVIDEZ, C. CRABTREE, N.
JOHNSON, AND E. MADRUGA FOR EXCESSIVE FORCE IN VIOLATION OF
THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT; (2) FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; OR,
(3) NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE WISHES TO STAND ON HIS
COMPLAINT, SUBJECT TO FINDINGS ANDRECOMMENDATIONS TO THE
DISTRICT JUDGE CONSISTENT WITH THIS ORDER (ECF No.
David Daniels is a state prisoner proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the
complaint commencing this action on April 6, 2017, which is
now before this Court for screening. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff
claims that he was beaten in his cell by correctional officer
defendants and failed to receive adequate medical attention
after the incident.
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
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).
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). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id.,
quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. While factual
allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not.
determining whether a complaint states an actionable claim,
the Court must accept the allegations in the complaint as
true, Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trs. of Rex Hosp., 425 U.S.
738, 740 (1976), construe pro se pleadings liberally
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, Resnick v.
Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve
all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v.
McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). Pleadings of
pro se plaintiffs “must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010) (holding that pro se complaints
should continue to be liberally construed after
SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
complaint discusses events that occurred at California State
Prison, SATF in Corcoran, CA on March 14, 2016. In
particular, he alleges that unknown Defendant #1, a
lieutenant, as well as correctional officers M. Owens, E.
Torres, J. Valencia, S. Pano, M. Benevidez, C. Crabtree and
N. Johnson, used excessive physical force on him.
Torres opened Plaintiff's cell door. M. Owens, J.
Valencia, S. Pano, M. Benevidez, C. Crabtree, N. Johnson, and
the unknown Defendant #1 entered Plaintiff's cell and
each of them beat and kicked Plaintiff with closed fists and
feet. M. Benevidez placed Plaintiff in a rear choke hold
while J. Valencia repeatedly punched Plaintiff in the face,
head, and right eye with his closed fist. N. Johnson kicked
Plaintiff repeatedly while C. Crabtree, M. Owens, and unknown
Defendant #1 punched Plaintiff until Plaintiff lost
consciousness. They dragged an unconscious and bleeding
Plaintiff out of his cell with his hands cuffed behind his
back and leg restraints on his legs. E. Madruga dragged
Plaintiff by the neck in a choke hold and covered
Plaintiff's head with a bag to hide Plaintiff's
injuries from witnesses. E. Madruga instructed the group of
prison guards to bring Plaintiff to the rear area of the
housing unit so no witnesses could see. Then E. Madruga
slammed Plaintiff's head repeatedly into a wall and threw
Plaintiff into a holding cage.
was seriously injured by this incident and required surgery
on his right eye. He was hospitalized for three days.
also alleges that he requested medical treatment for his
serious medical needs from many defendants and was denied
access to readily available treatment. While still in a
holding cage, E. Hernandez, an investigative staff unit
Sergeant, and unknown Defendant #4 came to investigate the
incident. Plaintiff requested medical treatment for his
serious medical needs and was denied access. D. Snell
informed Plaintiff that he had been instructed to assemble an
escort team for a special transfer by orders of the warden
and that Plaintiff would receive no medical treatment.
Plaintiff was taken to Corcoran's SHU without allowing
for medical care.
III. EVALUATION OF PLAINTIFF'S EIGHTH AMENDMENT
CLAIM FOR EXCESSIVE FORCE
its prohibition of ‘cruel and unusual punishments,
' the Eighth Amendment places restraints on prison
officials, who may not…use excessive physical force
against prisoners.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 832, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 1976, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994),
citing Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1 (1992).
“[W]henever prison officials stand accused of using
excessive physical force in violation of the [Eighth
Amendment], the core judicial inquiry is… whether
force was applied in a good-faith effort to maintain ...