United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
AMEND (ECF NO. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Maurice Hunt (“Plaintiff”) is a federal prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis under Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics,
403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff's complaint, filed on
October 17, 2016, is currently before the Court for
Screening Requirement and Standards
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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (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).
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to
have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any
doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627
F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). To 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, 129
S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United
States Secret Service, 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949
(quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
actions and actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “are
identical save for the replacement of a state actor under
§ 1983 by a federal actor under Bivens.”
Van Strum v. Lawn, 940 F.2d 406, 409 (9th Cir.
1991). Under Bivens, a plaintiff may sue a federal
officer in his or her individual capacity for damages for
violating the plaintiff's constitutional rights. See
Bivens, 403 U.S. at 397. To state a claim a plaintiff
must allege: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution of
the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged
violation was committed by a federal actor.
is currently housed at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional
Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana. The events in the
complaint are alleged to have occurred while Plaintiff was
housed at Atwater United States Penitentiary
(“Atwater”) in Atwater, California. Plaintiff
names the following defendants: (1) Warden Andre Matevousian;
(2) Lieutenant Helling; (3)
Officer W. Gunn; (4) Correctional Officer Graham; (5)
Correctional Officer Hellmuth; (6) Correctional Officer G.
Villegas; (7) Atwater's Medical Department; (8) Associate
Warden Snider; (9) Facility Captain Garcia; (10) Western
Regional Office, Bureau of Prisons; and (11) Central Office,
Bureau of Prisons.
claim 1, Plaintiff alleges that on August 6, 2015, he was
assaulted by Correctional Officers Helling, W. Gunn, and
Graham. Correctional Officer Hellmuth was watching, but did
not participate. Plaintiff asserts that earlier that day, he
had been complaining to Correctional Officer Hansen that he
needed access to a handicap toilet and shower due to his
disability, which had been an ongoing request since
Plaintiff's arrival at Atwater on July 21, 2015.
30, 2015, Plaintiff spoke directly to the Warden regarding
his handicap needs and appropriate housing to accommodate his
disability, Plaintiff pointed out to the Warden, while he was
standing at the entrance of Plaintiff's cell, that the
cell lacked any handrails or pull bars around the toilet or
shower. The Warden advised that he had been on vacation the
week of Plaintiff's arrival. Plaintiff further informed
the Warden that Captain Garcia confiscated Plaintiff's
assistive devices, which were authorized by Atwater Medical
Personnel on the day of his arrival. The Warden informed
Plaintiff that his medically prescribed assistive devices
would be returned and he would have Plaintiff moved to
next day, on July 31, 2015, Associate Warden Snider came to
Plaintiff's cell in the SHU and brought him a cane,
orthotic foot brace and ankle guard. Plaintiff inquired about
his other medically prescribed assistive devices and
assignment to a handicap accessible cell. Associate Warden
Snider informed Plaintiff that the handicap accessible cell
in the SHU was inoperable and that was all of the assistive
devices that Plaintiff was getting.
August 4, 2015, Plaintiff again spoke to Associate Warden
Snider about access to a handicap accessible toilet and
shower. Plaintiff informed Associate Warden Snider that
prisons are required to provide handicap accessible showers
and toilets pursuant to Supreme Court opinion. Associate
Warden Snider again informed Plaintiff ...