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Lucas v. Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept.

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 11, 2017

WEBSTER S. LUCAS, Plaintiff,
v.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPT., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Webster S. Lucas (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”) against defendants Jim McDonnell, Deputy Sneed, and Paul Pfrehm (“Defendants”) for violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. As discussed below, the Court dismisses the FAC with leave to amend.

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 24, 2017, Plaintiff constructively filed[1] a Complaint pursuant to Section 1983 against defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Jim McDonnell, and Deputy Sneed. ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 1. Plaintiff appeared to allege Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference violations resulting from the failure to properly classify Plaintiff as a sex-offender inmate.

         On May 11, 2017, the Court dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend for failure to state a claim. Dkt. 6.

         On June 21, 2017, Plaintiff constructively filed a FAC. Dkt. 9. Plaintiff sues Defendants in their official and individual capacities for violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Id. at 2-3, 6.

         III. ALLEGATIONS IN THE FAC

         Plaintiff alleges, on October 7, 2016, defendant Jim McDonnell at Los Angeles County Jail failed to properly classify Plaintiff as a special housing inmate based on his status as a sex offender. Id. at 4, 6. Plaintiff alleges this violated the deputy's “duty to provide safety for inmates - especially for inmates who are regularly targeted and assaulted for being [sex offenders].” Id.

         Additionally, Plaintiff alleges, on October 19, 2016, defendant Deputy Sneed “allowed an inmate to sit in” Plaintiff's preliminary hearing at Antelope Valley Courthouse during which Plaintiff was being charged with failure to register as a sex offender. Id. at 4-5. Plaintiff claims defendant Sneed “knew or reasonably should have known that his actions . . . would cause violence against Plaintiff.” Id. at 2. Plaintiff claims when he and the inmate returned to their holding cell, the inmate began yelling “we have a ‘child molester' in Cell 43 next door.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff further alleges he was “forced to go to Cell # 44 where his attackers lay waiting.” Id. As a result, Plaintiff claims he suffers “‘Mental Flashes' (of seeing himself in a pool of blood dying), ” and “depression/anxiety and nightmares, ” all of which have led him to “receiv[e] psych. Medications - Seroquil and Zoloff to deal with the mental illness associated with the flashes.” Id. at 5, 6.

         Plaintiff additionally claims he is being retaliated against for filing a complaint regarding the misidentification and incident at the Antelope Valley Courthouse. See id.; Ex. A. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges defendant Sneed is “retaliating against Plaintiff” for a grievance he filed on October 19, 2016. Id. at 6, Ex. A. He additionally alleges defendant Prfehm “failed to discipline all parties who retaliated against Plaintiff.” Id. at 2. Lastly, Plaintiff alleges defendant McDonnell “failed to reprimand deputies who clearly retaliated against Plaintiff” in addition to “fail[ing] to properly train deputies.” Id. at 6.

         As a result of these claims, Plaintiff seeks a “settlement or that Plaintiff's demand [] be honored, and any other relief the Court deems appropriate.” Id. at 8.

         IV. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         As Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must screen the Complaint and is required to dismiss the case at any time if it concludes the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. ยง ...


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