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Bradley v. Katchka

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 25, 2018

WILLIAM BRADLEY, CDCR #E-48180, Plaintiff,
v.
KATCHKA, R.N.; M. CASTILLO, Correctional Officer; ALVAREZ, Sergeant; D. PARAMO, Warden, Defendants.

         ORDER: (1) SUA SPONTE DISMISSING DEFENDANTS KATCHKA AND PARAMO PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(E)(2)(B)(II) & 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(B)(1) AND (2) DIRECTING U.S. MARSHAL TO EFFECT SERVICE UPON DEFENDANTS CASTILLO AND ALVAREZ PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(D) AND FED. R. CIV. P. 4(C)(3)

          Hon. Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff William Bradley, currently incarcerated at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran, California, and proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on November 21, 2017, in the Central District of California. (See “Compl., ” ECF No. 1.)

         Plaintiff claims Correctional Officer Castillo and Sergeant Alvarez at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (“RJD”), in San Diego, California, violated his Eighth Amendment rights by using excessive force to extract him from his cell in the Ad-Seg Unit while he was incarcerated there on December 21, 2016. Plaintiff further contends R.N. Katchka failed to properly document his injuries, and Warden Paramo failed to supervise his subordinates. (Id. at 2-4, 8-13.) He seeks $600, 000 in compensatory and $1.5 million in punitive damages, and demands a trial by jury. (Id. at 6.)

         I. Procedural History

         Plaintiff did not pay the civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) to commence a civil action when he filed his Complaint in the Central District in November 2017, but on January 5, 2018, U.S. Magistrate Judge Shashi H. Kewalramani granted his request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). (See ECF No. 6.)

         Later, on March 23, 2018, Judge Kewalramani transferred the case here, finding that because Plaintiff's claims are alleged to have arisen at RJD, and all Defendants are alleged to reside in San Diego County, the Southern District of California and not the Central District, is the appropriate venue. (See ECF No. 9, citing 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), § 1406(a).) Judge Kewalramani did not screen Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to either 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) or § 1915A before the transfer.

         II. Screening Required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A

         A. Standard of Review

         Because Plaintiff is a prisoner and is proceeding IFP, his Complaint requires a pre-answer screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(b). Under these statutes, the Court must sua sponte dismiss a prisoner's IFP complaint, or any portion of it, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks damages from defendants who are immune. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)). “The purpose of [screening] is ‘to ensure that the targets of frivolous or malicious suits need not bear the expense of responding.'” Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 920 n.1 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d 680, 681 (7th Cir. 2012)).

         “The standard for determining whether a plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) standard for failure to state a claim.” Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012); see also Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (noting that screening pursuant to § 1915A “incorporates the familiar standard applied in the context of failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)”). Rule 12(b)(6) requires a complaint “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at 1121.

         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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. The “mere possibility of misconduct” or “unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation[s]” fall short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

         B. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff claims that on December 21, 2016, while he was housed in RJD's Ad-Seg Unit, he experienced “chronic & severe abdominal pains, ” for his “I.B.S., ” and requested Correctional Officer Castillo to accept his “7632 Health Care Service Request Form.” (See Compl. 8.) Plaintiff claims Castillo smiled, replied, “We don't do ...


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