United States District Court, E.D. California
ROBERT A. GIBBS, Plaintiff,
J. WEBB, et al., Defendants.
DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a former pretrial detainee proceeding pro se, has filed a
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
Because plaintiff has made the required showing to proceed in
forma pauperis, the application will be granted.
Plaintiff's complaint is now before the Court for
court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
determines that ... the action or appeal (i) is frivolous or
malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). This provision applies to all
actions filed in forma pauperis, whether or not the plaintiff
is incarcerated. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1129 (9th Cir. 2000); see also Calhoun v. Stahl, 254
F.3d 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam).
1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder
v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a
source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method
for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda
Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
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)).
Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. Facial
plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a
defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations
are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.
times relevant to this action, Plaintiff was a pretrial
detainee housed at Shasta County Jail (“SCJ”) in
Redding, California. Plaintiff's caption and complaint
identifies the following Defendants: the California Forensic
Medical Group (“CFMG”), Shasta County, Shasta
County Sheriff Tom Basenko, Captain Dave Kent, Deputy J.
Webb, Deputy C. Barnhart, Sergeant C. Reed, and Sergeant B.
Rodgers. Other than CFMG and Shasta County, each Defendant is
sued in his or her individual and official capacities.
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and damages.
allegations may be fairly summarized as follows:
September 28, 2017, Plaintiff and Defendant Webb had a verbal
dispute regarding the conditions at SCJ and the mistreatment
of prisoners. Webb became agitated and threatened to shoot
than two hours later, Defendants Webb and Barnhart were
picking up breakfast trays, but Plaintiff refused to hand his
over until Webb provided him with an inmate grievance form.
Webb refused. Instead, he called Barnhart over to assist him;
they both entered Plaintiff's cell; Webb directed
Plaintiff to sit on his bunk, which Plaintiff did; and Webb
choked and assaulted Plaintiff without provocation or any
resistance from Plaintiff. Barnhart stood near Webb and
witnessed the assault but did nothing to stop it. Later, Webb
and Barnhart drafted false reports accusing Plaintiff of
being aggressive and of initiating the assault.
this assault, Plaintiff was taken to medical in handcuffs.
The unidentified deputies who transported Plaintiff did so
“very roughly” and then sat on him as he laid
face down. This resulted in a large facial contusion and cuts
on Plaintiff's wrists from the handcuffs.
medical, Plaintiff told the examining nurse, Barbara
Littleton, that Webb hit him, but Littleton did not report
the incident and tried to minimize Plaintiff's injuries.
Per Plaintiff, “CFMG personnel are not properly trained
and/or are too intimidated by deputees [sic] to report any
incidents of assault by deputees [sic].”
Plaintiff returned to his cell, he told multiple officers
that he wanted to report an assault, but none would allow
him. Plaintiff also wrote several grievances and spoke to
several deputies about making a police report to no avail. He
also claims that Defendants Reed and Rodgers “were
asked on [Plaintiff's] behalf to allow [him] to make a
police report and the request was denied.”
claims there is a custom at SJC of excessive force and abuse,
that Sheriff Bosenko is aware of it, and that none of the
supervising Defendants (Reed, Rodgers, South, Tanner, Marlar,
and Kent) properly supervise their deputies.
also claims that “deputees and corrections sargeants
[sic] went on to file a false criminal complaint in
retaliation, placed me on ‘chain-all movement'
status in retaliation, allowed several other deputees [sic]
to retaliate with invidious ‘disciplinary' reports
and continued to make threats against me.”
DiscussionA. Private v. ...