United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
SUZANNE H. SEGAL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Charles Lee Peoples, Jr. ("Plaintiff"), a
California state prisoner proceeding pro se, has
filed a Civil Rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (Dkt. No. 1) . Congress mandates that district courts
perform an initial screening of complaints in civil actions
where a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). This Court may dismiss
such a complaint, or any portion thereof, before service of
process if the complaint (1) is frivolous or malicious, (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1-2); see also
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 & n.7 (9th
Cir. 2000) (en banc) . For the reasons stated below, the
Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend.
ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMS
not entirely clear who Plaintiff is attempting to sue. The
"Los Angeles County Sheriff Department"
("LACSD") is the named defendant in the caption of
the Complaint. (Complaint ("Compl.") at 1) .
However, in the list of defendants in the body of the
Complaint, he names only an anonymous employee of the North
County Correctional Facility ("NCCF"), where he was
housed at the time of the alleged incident. (Id. at
3) . In his prayer for relief, he also requests an official
review of "the deputies involved." (Id. at
6) . He does not specify whether Defendants are sued in an
individual or official capacity. (Id.).
Complaint summarily alleges that, on May 14, 2016, a
lieutenant ordered Plaintiff and other inmates to clean a
dorm. (Id. at 5) . The room had recently been used
for welding, which left the air polluted by "hazardous
and toxic fumes." (Id.). Plaintiff and five
other inmates worked in the room without ventilation, lost
consciousness, and were "emergency escorted" to the
infirmary. (Id.). Plaintiff claims to suffer from
continuing injuries as a result of the incident.
(Id. at 5-6) .
specific grounds for Plaintiff's claims are unclear.
However, the Complaint appears to allege that LACSD and Doe
Defendants are liable under the Eighth Amendment for cruel
and unusual punishment, as a result of requiring forced
labor, "inflicting harm to inmates, " "safety
violations" and "abuse of authority."
(Id. at 5) . He also alleges a state law negligence
claim. (Id.) . Plaintiff prays for five million
dollars in damages, "disciplinary action" and an
"official review" of the deputies and the facility.
(Id. at 6).
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the
Complaint due to pleading defects. However, a court must
grant a pro se litigant leave to amend his defective
complaint unless "it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment." Akhtar v. Mesa, 698 F.3d 1202, 1212
(9th Cir. 2012) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). It is not "absolutely clear" that at
least some of the defects of Plaintiff's Complaint could
not be cured by amendment. The Complaint is therefore
DISMISSED with leave to amend.
The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Is An Improper
is "no constitutional impediment to municipal
liability" under Section 1983. Monell v. Dep't
of Soc. Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 690
n.54, 691 (1978); see also Pembaur v. City of
Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469, 483 (1986) (extending
Monell's analysis of municipal liability to counties).
However, a department, agency or unit of a local government
is an improper defendant. See Hervey v. Estes, 65
F.3d 784, 701 (9th Cir. 1995) (police narcotics task force
not a "person" or entity subject to suit under
section 1983). Accordingly, the LACSD is not a proper
defendant in this action, and Plaintiff's claims against
LACSD must be dismissed. If Plaintiff wishes to sue the
County of Los Angeles, he must meet the standard indicated
Plaintiff Fails To State A Claim ...