United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF
NO. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS
MICHAEL J. SENG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. His March 3, 2017 complaint is before the Court
for screening. (ECF No. 1.)
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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 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 on which
relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder
v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a
source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method
for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).
state a claim under § 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 violation was committed by a person
acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda County,
811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
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)). A
plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. Facial
plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a
defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations
are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not.
Iqbal, at 677-78.
is currently incarcerated at California State Prison in
Corcoran, California (“CSP-COR”). Before his
transfer to CSP-COR, Plaintiff was imprisoned at Wasco State
Prison in Wasco, California (“WSP”). The acts
giving rise to his complaint occurred at both WSP and
CSP-COR. He brings this suit against the following
Defendants: (1) John Sutton, Warden at WSP; (2) J.D. White,
Associate Warden at WSP; (3) K. Carpenter; WSP Correctional
Counselor; and R. Alcala, WSP Correctional Counselor.
allegations may be summarized essentially as follows:
the time of the acts giving rise to his complaint, Plaintiff
was at the Correctional Clinical Case Management System
(“CCCMS”) level of care. On September 15, 2015,
Plaintiff was transferred from the general population at WSP
and placed in Administrative Segregation
(“AdSeg”) for “battery on an inmate
resulting in serious bodily injury.” On September 24,
2015, Plaintiff appeared before an Institutional
Classification Committee (“ICC”) with Defendants
Sutton, Carpenter, and Alcala. Here, Defendants informed
Plaintiff he would “be disciplined” by transfer
to a Security Housing Unit (“SHU”) “for up
to sixteen months if found guilty at a prison disciplinary
hearing.” Defendants then referred Plaintiff's case
to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”) Classification Services Representative
for a “180 day retention” in AdSeg pending the
outcome of a Rules Violation Report (“RVR”).
129 days later, on or around January 21, 2016, Plaintiff was
transferred, “without notice, ” to SHU at
CSP-COR. Plaintiff claims he was transferred to SHU
“without ever being issued a RVR, being found guilty
thereof, or ever being afforded a disciplinary
hearing.” Plaintiff remained in SHU until approximately
February 1, 2016. While in SHU, Plaintiff suffered from sleep
deprivation and suicidal ideation. Plaintiff notes that the
lights at CSP-COR SHU are “programmed to remain on all
day and night, ” and that “prisoners yell and
scream throughout all hours, ” preventing him from
sleeping. As a result, Plaintiff suffered from suicidal
tendencies, stress, anxiety, migraines, weight loss, sleep
deprivation, and indignity. Plaintiff alleges that his
transfer constituted “torture” and
after his transfer to SHU at CSP-COR, Plaintiff submitted
“CDCR Form-22” to prison officials at CSP-COR
concerning his transfer to SHU. Plaintiff claims a non-party
CSP-COR officer told Plaintiff he was “checking into
why [Plaintiff was] transferred to SHU and not
[AdSeg].” Plaintiff filed two grievances in January and
February 2016 concerning his transfer to SHU at CSP-COR. The
first was “never answered or responded to, ”
while the second resulted in an interview with Defendant
Carpenter, where Carpenter “denied the relief
sought” by Plaintiff. Plaintiff claims Defendant
Carpenter informed Plaintiff he was transferred to CSP-COR to
give Plaintiff “additional out of cell time/activities
and increased mental health treatment programs.”
However, Plaintiff alleges no such programs or treatment were
provided to Plaintiff while he was in SHU, and Plaintiff does
not believe any such programs were being implemented at
CSP-COR SHU during the time the acts giving rise to his
brings suit against Defendants for violation of his
Fourteenth and Eighth Amendment rights to due process, equal
protection, and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
He seeks declaratory relief and money damages.
§ 1983, a plaintiff must demonstrate that each named
defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his
or her rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-77;
Simmons v. Navajo County, 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21(9th
Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d
1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones v. Williams, 297
F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). A plaintiff may not attribute
liability to a group of defendants, but must “set forth
specific facts as to each individual defendant's”
deprivation of his rights. Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d
628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988); see also Taylor v. List,
880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989).
liability may not be imposed on supervisory personnel under
the theory of respondeat superior, as each defendant
is only liable for his or her own misconduct. Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 676-77; Ewing, 588 F.3d at 1235.
Supervisors may only be held liable if they
“participated in or directed the violations, or knew of
the violations and failed to act to prevent them.”
Taylor, 880 F.2d at 1045 (9th Cir. 1989); accord
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1205-08 (9th Cir. 2011);
Corales v. Bennett, 567 F.3d 554, 570 (9th Cir.
2009); Preschooler II v. Clark Cty. Sch. Bd. of
Trs., 479 F.3d 1175, 1182 (9th Cir. 2007); Harris v.
Roderick, 126 F.3d 1189, 1204 (9th Cir. 1997).
alleges that the named Defendants “intentionally
disregarded Plaintiff's right to due process and equal
protection” by transferring him to SHU at CSP-COR.
However, such allegations are insufficient to show that each
of the Defendants “personally participated” in a
deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Plaintiff fails to set
forth specific facts as to each individual Defendant's
role in the asserted deprivations. Accordingly, claims
against the named Defendants will be dismissed and Plaintiff
will be given leave to amend.