United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
[ECF No. 30]
ANTHONY J. BATTAGLIA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Thomas (“Plaintiff”), currently incarcerated at
California State Prison - Los Angeles County, is proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action
filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
claims Calipatria State Prison (“CAL”)
Correctional Officers Rodriguez and Colio
(“Defendants”) violated his Eighth Amendment
rights by failing to properly secure him in a seatbelt during
a prison transport from CAL to a hospital in Indio,
California, for a physical therapy appointment on August 12,
2015. See Second Amend. Compl. (“SAC”),
ECF No. 23 at 5-6.
April 13, 2017, the Court directed the U.S. Marshal to effect
service of Plaintiff's SAC upon Defendants pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(d) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3) (ECF No.
30, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
(ECF No. 30). On the same day, the Court issued a briefing
schedule as to Defendants' Motion, determined that no
proposed findings and recommendations by the magistrate judge
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and S.D. Cal. CivLR
72.3(a) would be necessary, permitted Plaintiff to file an
Opposition, and Defendants an opportunity to Reply (ECF No.
August 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Opposition (ECF No. 32),
and on August 24, 2017, Defendants filed their Reply (ECF No.
33). The Motion has been determined suitable for
determination on the papers; therefore no oral argument was
held, and no party was required to appear. See S.D.
Cal. CivLR 7.1.d.1.
reasons discussed below, the Court finds Plaintiff's
Second Amended Complaint fails to state an Eighth Amendment
claim as to either Defendant Colio or Rodriguez, and
therefore GRANTS their Motion to Dismiss pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 30).
Plaintiff's Factual Allegations
morning of August 12, 2015, Plaintiff alleges Defendants
Colio and Rodriguez, both correctional officers at CAL,
transported him from CAL to a hospital in Indio, California,
for a physical therapy appointment. See SAC, ECF No.
23 at 5. Plaintiff does not explain the nature of his medical
need for physical therapy on that day, but in another portion
of his pleading he alleges to suffer from “degenerative
disk disease, ” and exhibits attached to his SAC show
he has been treated for “unresolved” and chronic
lower back pain as early as December 2014, when he underwent
an MRI of his lumbar spine while incarcerated at the Sierra
Conservation Center. Id. at 7, 38-40.
August 12, 2015, Plaintiff contends he was “shackled
with waist chains and handcuffs, ” and “placed in
a van equipped with seat belts, ” but was unable to
fasten them by himself due to the shackles. Id. at
5. Plaintiff claims to have asked Colio and Rodriguez,
“Are you going to fasten my seatbelt?” But they
replied, “No, you'll be alright.”
Id. Plaintiff next claims that “[d]uring the
transport, … the van stopped suddenly and [he] was
thrown forward, hit his head, and injured his back.”
next contends Defendants “continued to drive to the
hospital, ” where he was examined by the physical
therapist, and “completed his physical therapy with
difficulty, ” before he was driven back to CAL,
“this time with a seatbelt.” Id.
alleges to have filed an inmate grievance related to the
incident that was “granted in part.” Id.
As a result of that grievance, Plaintiff claims the
“prison admitted Rodriguez and Colio had violated
department policy, ” but did not “identify which
policy was violated.” Id.