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Cruz v. S. Savioe

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 24, 2018

S. SAVOIE, Defendant.



         Plaintiff Guillermo Trujillo Cruz (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 11, 2018, the Court screened Plaintiff's complaint and granted him leave to amend. (ECF No. 10.) Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed on May 21, 2018, is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 11.)

         I. Screening Requirement and Standard

         The 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); 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         A 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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (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).

         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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently housed at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California. The events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Kern Valley State Prison (“KVSP”). Plaintiff names Correctional Officer S. Savoie, a KVSP employee, as the sole defendant in this action.

         Claim I

         In Claim I, Plaintiff alleges that on April 7, 2016, Officer Savoie verbally sexually harassed him during third watch security bunk checks and mail pass out. Officer Savoie reportedly tried to get Plaintiff to expose his genitals. On the following day, April 8, 2016, Officer Savoie again tried to get Plaintiff to expose himself to her during afternoon showers, telling Plaintiff that she wanted to see his penis and to take off his boxer shorts. Once Officer Savoie knew that Plaintiff was not complying with her requests, she started to foment false rumors to her co-worker, Officer I. Ruiz, that Plaintiff exposed himself to her. Plaintiff believes that Officer Savoie's request to expose himself was for the purpose of blackmailing him and manipulating his program.

         On April 22, 2016, Plaintiff filed a grievance against Officer Savoie for sexual misconduct. At the 602 hearing, Officer Savoie denied all allegations against her. Plaintiff then made a formal request to the I.S.U. unit at KVSP to conduct a polygraph examination of Officer Savoie. Plaintiff also became aware that Lt. Moreno and Sgt. J. Melvin, who were designated to investigate the complaint, did not report the incident or information to the office of Inspector General or the Office of Internal Affairs.

         Claim II

         In Claim II, Plaintiff alleges retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights. In relevant part, Plaintiff contends that on April 27, 2016, Officer Savoie retaliated against him for filing a 602 grievance against her for staff sexual harassment. On that date, Officer Savoie allegedly filed a false Rule Violation Report against Plaintiff for overfamiliarity with staff. Plaintiff asserts that Officer Savoie knew that if a Southern Hispanic inmate was falsely accused of any sex crime or similar infraction, then that inmate could be considered a “no good” Southern Hispanic and could be targeted in any general population. Plaintiff further asserts he was immediately transferred from KVSP to High Desert State Prison because of Officer Savoie's request for Plaintiff's and assertions that Plaintiff's behavior and statements made her feel unsafe with Plaintiff on the facility. Plaintiff was assaulted at High Desert State Prison with deadly weapons. Plaintiff alleges that Officer Savoie reportedly knew that the Rule Violation Report would get Plaintiff targeted and assaulted.

         Claim ...

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