United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Jack Robert Smith (“Smith”), proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, filed a Second
Amended Complaint (“SAC”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (“Section 1983”). Smith appears to be
alleging a violation of his Fourteenth Amendment substantive
due process rights, and may also be attempting to state a
First Amendment retaliation claim and a state law claim for
defamation. For the reasons discussed below, the Court
dismisses the SAC with leave to amend.
is a civilly committed detainee at Metropolitan State
Hospital. See Smith v. Oreol, No. CV 17-5943-JFW
(KK), 2018 WL 6682424, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 2018),
report and recommendation adopted, No. CV
17-5943-JFW-KK, 2018 WL 6681192 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 19,
2018). On November 15, 2012, Smith was ordered
committed to the care of Patton State Hospital for a period
not to exceed nineteen years and eight months based on
findings by the Los Angeles County Superior Court that he was
guilty of assault with a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm,
and exhibiting a firearm, but that Smith was not sane within
the meaning of Section 1026 of the California Penal Code
(“Section 1026”) at the time of the commission of
March 7, 2019, Smith constructively filed a Complaint
against the medical director of Metropolitan State Hospital,
Paul Annanias (“Annanias”), alleging a violation
of Smith's Fourteenth Amendment rights. ECF Docket No.
(“Dkt.”) 1. Smith alleged Annanias
“‘failed to perform his legal/moral duty as a
doctor' by intentionally not providing a remedy to
[Smith's] Complaint of ‘suffering from emotional
distress,' as a result of ‘unnecessary
hospitalization.'” Id. at 11.
March 26, 2019, the Court dismissed the Complaint with leave
to amend for failure to state a claim. Dkt. 6.
April 7, 2019, Smith constructively filed a First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”) against defendant Alex Sabha
(“Sabha”), a psychiatrist at Metropolitan State
Hospital, in his individual capacity. Dkt. 7. Smith alleged
Sabha violated Smith's Fourteenth Amendment substantive
due process rights by punishing Smith and intentionally
causing Smith emotional harm by writing false and
“damaging” reports regarding Smith's mental
health with the goal of keeping Smith unnecessarily
2, 2019, the Court dismissed the FAC with leave to amend for
failure to state a claim. Dkt. 8.
23, 2019, Smith filed the SAC against Sabha in his individual
capacity. Dkt. 10. Smith alleges he met with Sabha on January
3, 2019, the day after Smith was transferred from Patton
State Hospital to Metropolitan State Hospital. Id.
at 4. Smith alleges Sabha wrote a “false baseless
malicious report” diagnosing Smith as bipolar
“with no factual basis” for such diagnosis
“within minutes of meeting” Smith in order to
punish him. Id. at 4. Smith also alleges Sabha wrote
the false report “to retaliate against [Smith] for
[Smith's] lawsuit against a Patton [State Hospital]
employee, ” which Smith had told Sabha about in their
meeting. Id. In addition, Smith claims a false
bipolar diagnosis is sufficient to state a claim for
defamation. Id. Smith seeks monetary and punitive
damages. Id. at 7.
plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, a court
must screen the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and is
required to dismiss the case at any time if it concludes the
action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d
1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 (“Rule 8”), 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). In determining whether a
complaint fails to state a claim for screening purposes, a
court applies the same pleading standard as it would when
evaluating a motion to dismiss ...