United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER SERVING COGNIZABLE CLAIMS
A. WESTMORE United States Magistrate Judge.
Brian Robert Censale, a pretrial detainee incarcerated at the
San Mateo County Jail, has filed a pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging the
violation of his constitutional rights by Andre Jackson, San
Mateo County Sheriff's Office Administration
Classification Sergeant. Plaintiff has consented to the
jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge over this action. Plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis is granted in a separate
order. The Court now reviews Plaintiff's complaint.
Preliminary Review of Complaint
federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must
identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that
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. Id. §
1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally
construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't,
901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only “‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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 the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
may be imposed on an individual defendant under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 if the plaintiff can show that the
defendant's actions both actually and proximately caused
the deprivation of a federally protected right. Lemire v.
Cal. Dept. Corrections & Rehabilitation, 756 F.3d
1062, 1074 (9th Cir. 2013); Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d
628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988). A person deprives another of a
constitutional right within the meaning of section 1983 if he
does an affirmative act, participates in another's
affirmative act or omits to perform an act which he is
legally required to do, that causes the deprivation of which
the plaintiff complains. Leer, 844 F.2d at 633.
no circumstances is there respondeat superior liability under
§ 1983. Lemire, 756 F.3d at 1074. Or, in
layman's terms, under no circumstances is there liability
under section 1983 solely because one is responsible for the
actions or omissions of another. Taylor v. List, 880
F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989); Ybarra v. Reno
Thunderbird Mobile Home Village, 723 F.2d 675, 680-81
(9th Cir. 1984). A supervisor may be liable under § 1983
upon a showing of (1) personal involvement in the
constitutional deprivation or (2) a sufficient causal
connection between the supervisor's wrongful conduct and
the constitutional violation. Henry A. v. Willden,
678 F.3d 991, 1003-04 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Starr v.
Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011)).
complaint alleges the following: Plaintiff is representing
himself in his state criminal case. The state court has
ordered that Plaintiff has the right to make telephone calls
in connection with his case five hours per week. Beginning in
December 2015, jail personnel required Plaintiff to make his
legal phone calls from cell HC7. This is a cell that is used
for intake into the jail and for inmates who are disruptive.
The cell is not cleaned by the janitorial staff and smells of
urine, feces, vomit, spit and piled-up garbage. The smell is
so bad that it is difficult for Plaintiff to breathe.
filed a state habeas action about the condition of the cell.
In response to the habeas action, Defendant Sgt. Andre
Jackson submitted a May 26, 2016 declaration stating,
“In the event that Mr. Censale complains to staff that
a holding cell where he is taken to complete legal phone
calls is unsanitary, staff have been instructed to review and
appropriately respond to his complaint.” Plaintiff
wrote to Sgt. Jackson several times after May 26, 2016
explaining that the condition of the cell has not improved
and that staff ignore his requests to clean the cell.
Apparently, Sgt. Jackson has not responded to Plaintiff or
instructed the staff to clean the cell. Presently, the cell
is in a disgusting condition and it is “obvious”
that staff leave it in that condition deliberately. Keeping
the cell in this unsanitary condition creates a health hazard
and imposes an undue hardship on Plaintiff to prosecute his
construed, the allegations in the complaint appear to give
rise to constitutional claims based on unsanitary conditions
of confinement and lack of access to the courts against Sgt.
Jackson because he allegedly knew about the ...