United States District Court, E.D. California
M. COTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court
is plaintiff's complaint (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges
Defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment and
SCREENING REQUIREMENT AND STANDARD
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require complaints contain a
“…short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief.” See
McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)). 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).
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to
have their pleadings liberally construed and are afforded the
benefit of any doubt. 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
(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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572F.3d
names the following as Defendants: (1) Scott Kernan (2)
Deborah Blackwell (3) R. Neuschmid (3) Russell Douglas (4) M.
Dernoncourt (5) M. McComas (6) Angela Sherman (7) L. Garcia
(8) M. Doe (9) J. Lee (10) E. Arnold. See ECF No. 1,
at 2, 4. Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his Fourteenth
Amendment rights by denying him the opportunity to call
witnesses in an Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) hearing
and failing to appoint Plaintiff staff assistance at the same
ASU hearing. Plaintiff alleges his own staff assistant was
necessary for a fair hearing. Plaintiff also alleges
Defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal
protection by discriminating against him when Defendants
initially placed him in ASU. Plaintiff states as a member of
the Enhanced Out Patient (EOP) program, he is a protected
alleges Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by
failing to provide Plaintiff with adequate and proper medical
and mental health care. Plaintiff alleges Defendants acted
with deliberate indifference to his serious medical and
mental health needs because they knew he was classified as
EOP and they knew ASU does not offer the scheduled and
consistent “therapeutic structured activities” he
requires to remain mentally stable. Plaintiff alleges the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”) Mental Health Program Guide requires
each EOP prisoner in ASU must be provided with a minimum ten
hours per week of “structured therapeutic activities,
” a weekly case manager meeting, and Title 15 mandated
out of cell time. Plaintiff claims in ASU he was not
receiving the above detailed requirements. Additionally,
Plaintiff alleges poor living conditions in ASU, stating they
amounted to a serious deprivation of the “minimal
civilized measures of life's necessities.”
alleges the following deficient conditions:
1. The food is inadequate because it is not EOP food and it
2. The clothing provided is a “dreary” jumpsuit,
boxer shorts, socks, and T-shirt. Thermal underwear was not
provided. Additionally, all clothing can only be exchanged
once a week for cleaning.
3. Shelter is inadequate because Plaintiff could not receive
EOP “structured therapeutic activities, ”
Plaintiff experienced sensory deprivation and constriction of
space, and activity in isolation. There is also no regular
4. Sanitation is inadequate because Plaintiff was provided
one bar of soap that makes his skin itch.
5. The provided “tooth powder” is rancid.
6. The provided toothbrush is three inches long.
7. Plaintiff alleges he couldn't receive his prescription
contact lotion for itchy skin.
8. The safety measures are inadequate because Plaintiff
alleges he suffered psychological distress.
currently set forth, the Court finds Plaintiff's
complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under §
1983. Plaintiff alleges violations of his rights under the
Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment. Within each
claim, it is difficult to decipher various sub-issues. For
that reason, this Court identifies five primary claims
alleged by Plaintiff in the complaint. Plaintiff alleges
Defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights by
denying him witnesses and staff assistance at an ASU hearing,
and further discriminating against him under the equal
protection clause by reaching the decision to continue his
occupancy in ASU. Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his
Eighth Amendment rights by denying him adequate mental health
care while in ASU and by the inadequate living conditions in
Fourteenth Amendment Claims
Process Clause protects prisoners from being deprived of
life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556 (1974). In
order to state a claim of deprivation of due process, a
plaintiff must allege the existence of a liberty or property
interest for which the protection is sought. See Ingraham
v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 672 (1977); Bd. of Regents
v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 569 (1972). Due process protects
against the deprivation of property where there is a
legitimate claim of entitlement to the property. See Bd.
of Regents, 408 U.S. at 577. Protected property
interests are created, and their dimensions are ...