United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a former county and current state prisoner proceeding pro se,
seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has
requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff has consented to the
jurisdiction of the undersigned magistrate judge for all
purposes pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Local Rule
305(a). ECF No. 4.
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). ECF No. 12. Accordingly, the
request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial
filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct
the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing
fee from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the
Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated
for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust
account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate
agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
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. §
“is [legally] frivolous where it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984).
“[A] judge may dismiss [in forma pauperis] claims which
are based on indisputably meritless legal theories or whose
factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Jackson
v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989) (citation
and internal quotations omitted), superseded by statute
on other grounds as stated in Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at
327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim,
however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual
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, ' in order to ‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). However, in order to survive dismissal for failure
to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. (citations omitted). “[T]he
pleading must contain something more . . . than . . . a
statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a
legally cognizable right of action.” Id.
(alteration in original) (quoting 5 Charles Alan Wright &
Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure
' 1216 (3d ed. 2004)).
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S.
at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In reviewing a
complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true
the allegations of the complaint in question, Hosp. Bldg.
Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trs., 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), as well
as construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's
favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421
alleges that he was involved in a physical altercation with
another inmate, Dean Knite, causing injuries to his right eye
and the right side of his face. ECF No. 1 at 3. Plaintiff
states that defendant Siskiyou County Jail was responsible
for his injuries because it failed to properly place Knite in
a maximum-security facility. Id. at 4.
Failure to State a Claim
Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, but
neither does it permit inhumane ones.” Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). “[A] prison official
violates the Eighth Amendment only when two requirements are
met. First, the deprivation alleged must be, objectively,
sufficiently serious, a prison official's act or omission
must result in the denial of the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities.” Id. at 834 (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). Second, the prison
official must subjectively have a “sufficiently
culpable state of mind . . . one of deliberate indifference
to inmate health or safety.” Id. (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). The official is not
liable under the Eighth Amendment unless he “knows of
and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety;
the official must both be aware of facts from which the
inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious