United States District Court, E.D. California
CIRON B. SPRINGFIELD, Plaintiff,
A. VALENCIA, et al., Defendants.
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks relief
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested leave to
proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to
proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency
to collect twenty percent of the preceding month's income
credited to plaintiff's prison trust account and forward
it to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221,
1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The
critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however
inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis.
See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir.
1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
order to avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a
complaint must contain more than “naked assertions,
” “labels and conclusions” or “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555-557 (2007). In other words, “[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).
Furthermore, a claim upon which the court can grant relief
has facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 93-94 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
Allegations in the Complaint
events giving rise to the allegations in the complaint
occurred while plaintiff was housed at the California Medical
Facility in Vacaville (“CMF”). The complaint
covers a time span from January 2018 until April 2019.
Plaintiff names three correctional counselors, one appeals
coordinator, and the chief deputy warden at CMF as defendants
in this action. Attached to plaintiff's complaint are
over 100 pages of exhibits which the court has reviewed as
part of its duty to screen the complaint. ECF No. 1 at
36-138; see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
allegations and the documents attached to the pleading may be
fairly categorized into three separate causes of action.
First, plaintiff alleges a First Amendment retaliation claim
against defendants A. Valencia and R. Guitierez. See
ECF No. 1 at 22-23. Specifically, plaintiff asserts that
defendant Valencia threatened to discharge him from the
Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) if he did not withdraw his
CDCR 602 grievance. See ECF No. 1 at 12-13; 16-17.
Plaintiff further alleges that defendant Guitierez had
plaintiff transferred to the High Custody Intermediate
Treatment Program at CMF in retaliation for plaintiff's
filing of a reasonable accommodation request for his mental
illness. ECF No. 1 at 12. As a result of these threats,
plaintiff abandoned his 602 grievance. ECF No. 1 at 22.
plaintiff alleges that defendants M. Boucher, C. Pompey, R.
Guitierez, and A. Valencia were deliberately indifferent to
his mental health needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
See ECF No. 1 at 24-27. Plaintiff contends that
defendants Boucher, Pompey, Guitierez, and Valencia were
deliberately indifferent when they recommended that he be
placed in a multi-person cell which they knew would
“deny him access to serious specialized/adequate mental
health treatment.” ECF No. 1 at 24.
plaintiff raises a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim
against R. Guitierez, A. Valencia, and N. Counture based on
his atypical confinement that caused him significant hardship
contrary to the ordinary instances of prison life. ECF No. 1
at 27-29. In this cause of action, plaintiff alleges
that defendant Guitierez placed him on “DPS”
status from November 16, 2018 until April 23, 2019 which
prevented him from accessing the exercise yard, law library,
the law library electronic delivery system, religious
services, the dayroom, as well as individual and group
therapy. ECF No. 1 at 27-28. During this time period,
plaintiff was restricted to his cell 24 hours a day with the
exception of a 15-minute shower every-other-day if staff was
available. Id. According to the complaint, defendant
Valencia conspired with defendant Guitierez to continue
plaintiff's “DPS” status. ECF No. 1 at 28.
Defendant Counture failed to adequately prepare for and
assist plaintiff at his Unit Classification Committee hearing
(“UCC”) on February 29, 2019 and March 5, 2019.
ECF No. 1 at 17-18, 28-29.
of relief, plaintiff seeks injunctive relief as well as
compensatory and punitive ...