United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. '" United States District
an inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison (“PBSP”),
filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that PBSP correctional officials
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs,
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a
separate order. His complaint (Dkt. No. 1) is now before the
Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Standard of Review
federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity, or from an officer or an employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court
must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims
which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1), (2). Pro se pleadings
must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
“Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need
only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . .
. claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)
(citations omitted). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to
provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment]
to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated; and
(2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under
the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
to the complaint, while playing basketball, Plaintiff
suffered an injury to his right knee that constituted a
medical emergency. From July 27, 2018 to January 25, 2019,
Defendants refused to look at him; taunted him; made jokes
about him; were negligent to him; treated him with malice,
oppression, and fraud; made him walk around without medical
equipment; and treated him with “courses that made no
sense.” As a result, Plaintiff ended up requiring
surgery for a completely torn medical meniscus and may
require further surgery, and is now disabled for life.
Plaintiff names as defendants RN Eric Golding, Dr. Elise
Williams, RN Jasmine Yang, Dr. Devinder Kumar, RN Amy Olsen,
and PBSP staff John Does.
complaint will be DISMISSED with leave to amend because it
suffers from the following deficiency. The complaint does not
give the defendants fair notice of the claim because it fails
to link each defendant to a specific constitutional
violation. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff must be
careful to allege facts showing the basis for liability for
each defendant. He should not refer to them as a group (e.g.
“the defendants”); rather, he should identify
each involved defendant by name and link each of them to his
claims by explaining what each defendant did or failed to do
that caused a violation of his constitutional rights. See
Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988)
(liability may be imposed on individual defendant under
§ 1983 only if plaintiff can show that defendant
proximately caused deprivation of federally protected right).
assist Plaintiff in preparing the amended complaint, the
Court reviews some of the relevant legal principles.
is no respondeat superior liability under section 1983, i.e.
no liability under the theory that one is liable simply
because he employs a person who has violated a
plaintiff's rights. See Monell v. Dep't of Social
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978); Taylor v.
List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). A supervisor
may be liable under section 1983 upon a showing of (1)
personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation or (2)
a sufficient causal connection ...