United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF PARTIAL DISMISSAL AND SERVICE
GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the Richard J.
Donovan Correctional Facility, filed a pro se civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, stemming from
alleged constitutional violations the took place while he was
incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison
(“SVSP”) from 2011 through 2013. Plaintiff seeks
monetary damages based on alleged injuries caused by the
following Defendants: SVSP Bakery Supervisors Eva Scruggs and
J. Brunscher; SVSP Lieutenant R. Mojica, SVSP Warden A.
Hedgpeth; California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) Secretary J. Beard; and
CDCR Director M. Cate.
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis has
Court notes that Plaintiff originally filed the same claims
against most of the same Defendants in another civil rights
action, Case No. C 12-6537 YGR (PR), in which the Second
Amended Complaint (“SAC”) was the operative
complaint. Compare Dkt. 1 with Dkt. 16 in Case No. C
12-6537 YGR (PR). However, in that case, the Court granted
Defendants' motion for summary judgment based on the
failure to exhaust administrative remedies as to most of the
claims in the SAC (i.e., all claims except for the
retaliation claim against Defendants Brunscher and Scruggs,
and SVSP Officer S. Lawson). See Dkt. 97 in Case No.
C 12-6537 YGR (PR) at 3-14. The aforementioned claims were
dismissed without prejudice to refiling after exhausting
California's prison administrative process. See
Id. (citing McKinney v. Carey, 311 F.3d 1198,
1199-1201 (9th Cir. 2002)). The Court granted Defendants'
motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiff's remaining
retaliation claim. Id. at 14-24.
pending before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, in
which he has refiled most of the claims from his previous
action and indicated that he has since exhausted his claims
to the “highest level of appeal available to
[him].” See Dkt. 1 at 1-2. The Court reviews
the complaint below.
Standard of Review
federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must
identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which
are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. §1915A(b)(1), (2).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and
(2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under
the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988).
instant complaint, Plaintiff alleges multiple incidents
involving various SVSP prison officials. Specifically, the
Court finds that Plaintiff has alleged the following
cognizable claims against the following named Defendants:
(1) an Eighth Amendment claim that Defendants Scruggs and
Brunscher acted with deliberate indifference to the threat of
serious harm or injury to Plaintiff by other prisoners
resulting from these Defendants spreading certain rumors that
Plaintiff was a “snitch, informant, rat, cop”
(2) claim for emotional distress and mental torture against
Defendants Scruggs, Brunscher and Mojica for their acts of
“malicouslly [sic] causing the spread of identifying
[Plaintiff] as a ‘snitch, ' ‘informant'
amongst dangerous convicts” prior to the January 18,
2013 incident involving an assault and battery with a weapon
by his cell mate inmate Lozano, who stated to ...