United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
TO AMEND AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS (ECF
Jason Allan Singer, appearing pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed a Complaint on May 18, 2017. (ECF
No. 1.) The Complaint alleges violations of 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against Defendants Downtowner Inn in Bakersfield,
California; Matthew Braman, the night manager of the
Downtowner Inn; Sandy Cartwright, the night clerk at the
Downtowner Inn; and Stephany Munoz, a room cleaner at the
Downtowner Inn. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants conspired
with the Bakersfield Police Department to cause him injury.
The Court has screened the Complaint and dismisses
Plaintiff's Complaint with leave to amend.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must conduct a review
of a pro se complaint to determine whether it
“state[s] a claim on which relief may be granted,
” is “frivolous or malicious, ” or
“seek[s] monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” If the Court determines that
the complaint fails to state a claim, it must be dismissed.
Id. Leave to amend may be granted to the extent that
the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment.
Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir.
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, 127 S.Ct.
1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual
allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not.
Id. at 678.
determining whether a complaint states an actionable claim,
the Court must accept the allegations in the complaint as
true, Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trs. of Rex Hospital, 425
U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe pro se pleadings
liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff,
Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000),
and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor.
Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).
Pleadings of pro se plaintiffs “must be held
to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010) (holding that pro se complaints
should continue to be liberally construed after
stayed at Defendant Downtowner Inn on the evening of May 13,
2015. At some point, when Plaintiff had left his room,
Defendant Stephany Munoz entered his room to clean it. Munoz
observed drug paraphernalia in the room, including pipes for
smoking marijuana and methamphetamine. Munoz took pictures of
the paraphernalia and texted them to Defendant Matthew
Braman, who asked Defendant Sandy Cartwright to call police.
police arrived, Defendants provided them with a copy of
Plaintiff's driver's license for identification
purposes and gave them Plaintiff's room number. The
officers identified Plaintiff as a parolee who had previously
been convicted of battery and was subject to drug testing and
random searches. Braman told the officers that Plaintiff was
scheduled to check out of the motel that morning and asked
that the officers inform Plaintiff that all illegal drug
paraphernalia would need to be removed from the room upon
checkout. Braman did not ask the officers to remove Plaintiff
from the room, although he gave them a room key to
officers went to Plaintiff's room, knocked, and announced
that they were from the Bakersfield Police Department. They
did not receive any response and attempted to use the room
key that Braman had provided. Because the door latch on the
door was engaged, however, the officers were only able to
partially open the door. From their vantage point, they
observed Plaintiff lying on the bed in the room, along with
Crystal Sullivan, a female companion of Plaintiff's.
Sullivan came to the door and unlocked it. The officers
attempted to speak to Plaintiff, but Plaintiff did not
respond and stepped out of view of the officers. Concerned
that Plaintiff might be seeking a weapon, the officers
attempted to push open the door. Plaintiff came to the door
and tried to force it shut.
struggle through the door opening ensued before Plaintiff
retreated back into the room. As the officers entered the
room, they observed a variety of “hand tools, large
glass cylinders, and electronic items.” One officer
drew his taser and fired it at Plaintiff, but the taser
failed to disable Plaintiff. Plaintiff then attempted to
climb out of the window of the room. The officer ran to
window and reached out to him, but Plaintiff released his
grip and dropped three stories onto the ground. The officers
summoned an ambulance and Plaintiff was taken to Kern Medical
Center and treated. A later search of the room found 286
grams of marijuana and a variety of drug paraphernalia,
including equipment that could be used to manufacture illegal
contends that Defendants engaged in a conspiracy to conduct
an illegal search of his room, which caused him to severely
injure himself when he fell from the third story window.
Plaintiff does not name the police department or police
officers who participated in the search as defendants.
Plaintiff asks for compensatory damages related to the
injuries he sustained in his fall.
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff “must
allege a violation of a right secured by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged
deprivation was committed by a person acting under
color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988) (emphasis added). Private parties, such as
the Defendants in this action, are not generally acting under
color of state law for the purposes of § 1983. Price
v. Hawaii, 939 F.2d 702, 707-08 (9th Cir. 1991)
(“Careful adherence to the ‘state action'
requirement preserves an area of individual freedom by
limiting the reach of federal law and federal judicial power.
It also avoids imposing on the State, its agencies or
officials, responsibility for conduct for which they cannot
fairly be blamed”).
circumstances, a conspiracy between private and state actors
can render the private actor liable under § 1983.
“To prove a conspiracy between private parties and the
government under § 1983, an agreement or ‘meeting
of the minds' to violate constitutional rights must be
shown.” Fonda v. Gray, 707 F.2d 435, 438 (9th
Cir. 1983). “To be liable as a co-conspirator, a
private defendant must share with the public entity the goal
of violating a plaintiff's constitutional rights.”
Franklin v. Fox, 312 F.3d 423, 445 (9th Cir. 2002).
“The Ninth Circuit requires a ‘substantial degree
of cooperation' between the government and ...