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Lucas v. Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept.

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 11, 2017

WEBSTER S. LUCAS, Plaintiff,
v.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPT., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KITO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Webster S. Lucas (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a Complaint (“Complaint”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”) against defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Jim McDonnell - Sheriff, and Deputy Sneed (“Defendants”). As discussed below, the Court dismisses the Complaint with leave to amend.

         II.

         ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT

         On April 24, 2017, Plaintiff constructively filed1 a Complaint pursuant to Section 1983 against Defendants. ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”)[1]. Plaintiff sues (1) Sheriff Jim McDonnell, in his individual and official capacity, for failing to train his deputy sheriffs to properly classify incoming arrestees; (2) Deputy Sneed, in his individual and official capacity, for negligently allowing another inmate to attend Plaintiff's preliminary hearing; and (3) the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for the actions of its deputies. Id. at 5.

         According to the Complaint, Plaintiff is a registered sex offender. Id. at 5, 8. Plaintiff alleges on October 19, 2016, defendant Deputy Sneed “allowed an inmate to sit in” Plaintiff's preliminary hearing at Antelope Valley Courthouse during which Plaintiff was being charged with failure to register as a sex offender. Id. Plaintiff claims when he and the inmate returned to their holding cell, the inmate began “‘yelling' ‘we have a child molester here!'” Id. at 5. Plaintiff alleges the inmate “began instigating other inmates to beat [him] up or kill [him].” Id. at 8.

         Plaintiff alleges that on the same day, defendant Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department “failed to properly classify Plaintiff upon Plaintiff's reception in to the L.A. County Jail.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff alleges he was classified as a “‘General Population Inmate' instead of a K-6Y Inmate who are separately housed in Administrative Segregation Housing and kept away from General Population inmates.” Id. Plaintiff claims this misclassification placed his life in danger. Id.

         As a result of Defendants' alleged actions, Plaintiff claims he has become “mentally affected with flashes of seeing [himself] lying in a pool of blood with broken and smashed head, ribs, etc.” Id. at 25. Plaintiff further alleges that on January 2, 2017, he “was interviewed by a psychiatrist” regarding the “flashes [he] suffer[s] [from] as a result of the incidents which occurred on October 19, 2016.” Id. at 14. Plaintiff claimed he “was satisfied with the conversation [he] had with the physician, ” but would like a follow-up appointment because “the flashes have slowed, but not gone away.” Id. at 14.

         As a result of these claims, Plaintiff seeks damages against defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Jim McDonnell for $150, 000 and against defendant Deputy Sneed for $100, 000. Id. at 6.

         III.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         As Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must screen the Complaint and is required to dismiss the case at any time if it concludes the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).

         In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim for screening purposes, the Court applies the same pleading standard from Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rule 8”) as it would when evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain a ...


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