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Humes v. Sacramento County Jail

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 3, 2018

JON HUMES, Plaintiff,
v.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY JAIL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          ALLISON CLAIRE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff is a Sacramento County Jail inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a First Amended Complaint (FAC) filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. By order filed October 12, 2017, the court screened plaintiff's original complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The court found that plaintiff's factual allegations stated claims for the use of excessive force but the complaint failed to identify the proper defendants, naming only Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and four “unknown” deputies. See ECF No. 13. Plaintiff was granted leave to file a FAC, which he filed on October 20, 2017. The court now screens the FAC pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that the FAC states cognizable Fourteenth Amendment claims for the use of excessive force against Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies Robinson, Allgeier and Krastz, and a Fourteenth Amendment failure-to-protect claim against Sergeant Maberry; the court directs plaintiff to submit the information necessary for the United States Marshal to serve process on these defendants. The court also recommends dismissal of Sheriff Jones for failure to state a cognizable claim. Finally, the court addresses plaintiff's miscellaneous motions.

         II. Screening of First Amended Complaint

         The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984).

         The FAC provides more detailed factual allegations than the original complaint and identifies the challenged conduct of each defendant as follows, ECF No. 15 at 4-5:

Deputy Robins heard me say a cuss word as I signed a write up I held against a wall. I've had 3 brain surgeries and occasionally mumble a cuss word. I can't help it. Deputy Robins grabbed my arm and twisted it so hard that he broke it! Then he tackled me! Then Deputy Allgier and Kratz ran over and jumped in to help Deputy Robins! Despite my NOT resisting and Deputy Robins having me in a headlock and viciously trying to rip my head off! The 3 of them tortured me by bending my limbs in wrong directions for no reason! Then they hand-cuffed me and Sgt. Maberry appeared. I told him my arm was broken. He kept telling me to “shut the fuck up!' He heard me say my arm was broken, yet he let those 3 deputies drag me into a cell and beat me and nearly choke me to death. Then he almost choked me to death. . . . I was laying on the floor on my stomach. . . . Then Deputy Allgier began walking on my back on his bony knees. He kept going up my back to my skull, then back down to my butt! He was trying to damage my spine!

The FAC alleges that, as a result of this incident, plaintiff's left arm was broken, his left ear was deafened, and he is incontinent due to spinal damage. Id. at 4. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from each defendant. Id. at 6. Plaintiff has separately filed a copy of an “Inmate Incident Report” that recounts the official findings concerning this incident, see ECF No. 25; the court will direct that this document be attached to the FAC.

         For the reasons set forth in the court's prior screening order (see ECF No. 13), including a summary of the legal standards for stating a Fourteenth Amendment excessive force claim, the court finds that the FAC states Fourteenth Amendment claims for the use of excessive force against defendants Robinson (Badge # 1237), Allgeier (Badge #110) and Kraatz (Badge # 985).[1]The court also finds that the FAC also states a Fourteenth Amendment failure-to-protect claim[2]against defendant Maberry (Badge # 42).

         The FAC no longer names Sheriff Jones. For this reason and for the reasons previously stated by the court in screening plaintiff's original complaint, see ECF No. 13 at 4, the undersigned recommends that Sheriff Jones be dismissed from this action for failure to state a claim.

         III. Plaintiff's Pending Motions

         Plaintiff has filed two motions asking the court to waive the filing fee for this case, ECF No. 23, and to provide plaintiff with $500 per month to “facilitate discovery and other desired advances” in this case, ECF No. 24. Both requests will be denied. Prisoners are required to pay the full filing fee to commence a civil action, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), and the court has no authority to provide funds to pro se litigants for discovery or other litigation expenses.

         IV. ...


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