United States District Court, E.D. California
BRODERICK R. FIELDS, Plaintiff,
M. STURKEY, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF
CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS (ECF NOS. 1, 11) FOURTEEN (14)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
and Recommendations Following Screening
Broderick R. Fields (“Plaintiff”) is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff initiated this action on September 26, 2016. (ECF
7, 2017, the Court screened Plaintiff's complaint under
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and found that it stated a cognizable
claim against Defendant Ruiz for violation of the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but failed to state a
cognizable claim against any other defendants. The Court
provided Plaintiff with an opportunity to file an amended
complaint or notify the Court of his willingness to proceed
only on his cognizable claims. (ECF No. 11.)
21, 2017, Plaintiff notified the Court of his willingness to
proceed only on his cognizable claims. (ECF No. 12.)
Accordingly, the Court issues the following Findings and
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against
an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion
thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),
(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
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)).
While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts
“are not required to indulge unwarranted
inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted).
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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret
Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer
possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not
sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short
of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572
F.3d at 969.
is currently housed at California State Prison, Lancaster.
The events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred
while Plaintiff was housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison
(“PVSP”). Plaintiff names the following
defendants: (1) Correctional Officer M. Sturkey; (2)
Correctional Sergeant E. Garcia; (3) Correctional Lieutenant
R. Ruiz; (4) Correctional Officer D. Risehoover; (5)
Correctional Officer J. Abraham; and (6) Warden S.
alleges: On February 24, 2013, Plaintiff was incarcerated at
PVSP and was involved in a physical altercation (fist fight)
with Inmate Green in the dayroom. Defendant Sturkey reported
that Plaintiff was advancing toward Inmate Green with a
swinging, stabbing type motion. Defendant Sturkey also
reported that he ordered the dayroom down, and that Plaintiff
ran to his cell and got into the prone position in the cell
doorway. Plaintiff contends that Defendant Sturkey never
observed Plaintiff with a weapon or found a weapon, but
charged Plaintiff with “Battery on an Inmate with a
also alleges that Defendant Abraham conducted a search of the
area from where the fight had occurred to Plaintiff's
cell, where Plaintiff was placed in handcuffs, but no weapons
were found. However, after Defendant Abraham searched the
cell, Defendant Risenhoover also searched the cell at
Defendant Garcia's instruction. Defendant Risenhoover
asserted that he found a stabbing type weapon approximately 4
inches long, stainless steel, sharpened to a point at one end
in the cell toilet. Plaintiff contends that this assertion
conflicted with Defendant Abraham's report that no weapon
was found. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Garcia
falsely asserted in his report that Plaintiff spontaneously
stated that he threw the weapon in the toilet. Plaintiff
contends that this is not true and was fabricated by
also alleges that it was documented that Defendant
Risenhoover collected overview photographs of the weapon in
the toilet and took sole possession of the weapon, but did
not test it for blood or fingerprints. Plaintiff suggests
that such testing would have determined that neither his nor
Inmate Green's DNA or prints were on the weapon, or that
the weapon belonged to one of the 85 other inmates who ...