United States District Court, E.D. California
ARTHUR R. JONES, Plaintiff,
E. MEDDLY, Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND FOR
FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 1)
Arthur R. Jones is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint,
filed January 24, 2017.
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 on
which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
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)).
Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's
rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions 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 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To
survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially
plausible, 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 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d
962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and
“facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a
defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying
the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
brings this action alleging that after showering on January
23, 2016, while being escorted to his cell with his hands
cuffed behind his back, Correctional Officer Meddly did not
ensure that he had a secure hold of Plaintiff's arm and
Plaintiff fell down the metal staircase in the housing unit
causing Plaintiff to be injured. (Compl. 3-4.) Plaintiff
alleges that Correctional Officer Meddly's actions
violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment and he is seeking
Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment protects prisoners not only from inhumane methods
of punishment but also from inhumane conditions of
confinement. Morgan v. Morgensen, 465 F.3d 1041,
1045 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 847 (1994) and Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S.
337, 347 (1981)) (quotation marks omitted). While conditions
of confinement may be, and often are, restrictive and harsh,
they must not involve the wanton and unnecessary infliction
of pain. Morgan, 465 F.3d at 1045 (citing
Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347) (quotation marks omitted).
Thus, conditions which are devoid of legitimate penological
purpose or contrary to evolving standards of decency that
mark the progress of a maturing society violate the Eighth
Amendment. Morgan, 465 F.3d at 1045 (quotation marks
and citations omitted); Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S.
730, 737 (2002); Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 346.
prove a violation of the Eighth Amendment, the plaintiff must
“objectively show that he was deprived of something
‘sufficiently serious, ' and make a subjective
showing that the deprivation occurred with deliberate
indifference to the inmate's health or safety.”
Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144, 1150 (9th Cir.
2010) (citations omitted). Deliberate indifference requires a
showing that “prison officials were aware of a
“substantial risk of serious harm” to an
inmate's health or safety and that there was no
“reasonable justification for the deprivation, in spite
of that risk.” Thomas, 611 F.3d at 1150
(quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 844). The
circumstances, nature, and duration of the deprivations are
critical in determining whether the conditions complained of
are grave enough to form the basis of a viable Eighth
Amendment claim. Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726,
has not alleged any facts to show that Correctional Officer
Meddly was aware that Plaintiff was at a substantial risk of
harm by the manner in which he was escorting Plaintiff from
the showers. While Plaintiff alleges that Correctional
Officer Meddly failed to have a secure hold on him in
violation of the departmental procedures and common practice,
that is not sufficient to show more than mere negligence.
Negligence is insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment
claim. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 835 (more than negligence
is required to violate the Eighth Amendment).
currently pled, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to
allege facts to show that Correctional Officer Meddly was
acting with conscious disregard to Plaintiff's safety
while he was escorting Plaintiff back to his cell. Plaintiff
shall be granted an opportunity to file an amended complaint
to cure the deficiencies identified herein.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
complaint fails to state a cognizable claim for a violation
of his federal rights. The Court will provide Plaintiff with
the opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the
deficiencies identified by the Court in this order. Noll
v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448-49 (9th Cir. 1987).
Plaintiff may not change the nature of this suit by adding
new, unrelated claims in his amended complaint. George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (no
Plaintiff opts to amend, his amended complaint should be
brief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Plaintiff must identify how each
individual defendant caused the deprivation of
Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights:
“The inquiry into causation must be individualized and
focus on the duties and responsibilities of each individual
defendant whose acts or omissions are ...