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 second amended complaint (ECF No. 20).
Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment
right against cruel and unusual punishment, his equal
protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, his First
Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, and his
Fourth Amendment right to bodily privacy. Plaintiff also
asserts a conspiracy claim under section 1985 and a failure
to act/protect claim under section 1986.
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 at 969.
raises six claims in his second amended complaint. (1)
Plaintiff alleges Defendants Jeff MaComber, Kelly Harrington,
and Timothy Lockwood violated his Eighth Amendment right
against cruel and unusual punishment by knowingly allowing
Plaintiff to be housed in a constitutionally inadequate
double-cell. Plaintiff does not contend that the practice of
double celling is itself a violation of the Eighth amendment,
but asserts his particular double cell is unconstitutional.
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges the conditions deprive him of
privacy, forcing him to expose himself to his cellmate.
Plaintiff claims the lack of a ladder is a safety hazard that
has resulted in an injury to his shoulder. Plaintiff alleges
he is forced to eat while his cellmate uses the
toilet-creating an unsanitary living condition-and Plaintiff
contends his cellmate is dangerous. Plaintiff argues
Defendants MaComber, Harrington, and Lockwood were made aware
of these deficiencies and continued to allow Plaintiff to be
double-celled, thus violating his Eighth Amendment rights.
Plaintiff alleges Defendants MaComber, B. Moore, and R.
Ramirez violated his equal protection rights under the
Fourteenth Amendment by housing him in a double cell rather
than a single cell. Plaintiff further alleges Defendant Orel
David violated his equal protection rights by denying him
access to Jewish services. Plaintiff contends that Defendants
Stewart, MaComber, and Giannelli were aware of this denial
and failed to take proper action, thus also violating his
equal protection rights. (3) Plaintiff alleges Defendants
David, Stewart, MaComber, and Giannelli violated his First
Amendment rights to religious practice by denying him access
to Jewish services. (4) Plaintiff alleges Defendants MaComber
and Harrington violated his Fourth Amendment right to privacy
by allowing him to be double-celled. Specifically, Plaintiff
contends by forcing him to double cell he must expose himself
to his cellmate when urinating, defecating, and bathing. (5)
Plaintiff alleges Defendants David, Giannelli, and Stewart
conspired against him, in violation of section 1985, to deny
him equal protection to Jewish services because he was an EOP
mental health prisoner. (6) Plaintiff alleges Defendants
Stewart, MaComber, and Harrington, failed to act and protect
him from the denial of Jewish services in violation of
Claim 1: Eighth Amendment
alleges the specific conditions of his double cell
confinement violate the constitutional standards established
under the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff, thus, does not
challenge the practice of double celling but rather the
circumstances related to his double cell. On this basis,
Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts as to Defendants
Macomber, Harrington, and Lockwood to pass screening.
Claim 2: Equal Protection
alleges Defendants MaComber, B. Moore, and R. Ramirez
violated his equal protection rights under the Fourteenth
Amendment by housing him in a double cell rather than a
single cell. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that housing him
in a double cell, while allowing other EOP inmates a single
cell, is a violation of the Equal Protection Cause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff further alleges Defendant
Orel David violated his equal protection rights by denying
him access to Jewish services. Plaintiff contends that