United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF SERVICE; DISMISSING CERTAIN DEFENDANTS WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND
Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. United States District Judge.
Terry Leo Kramer, an inmate at California Health Care
Facility in Stockton, California, filed this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
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. §
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,
complaint makes the following allegations. Plaintiff was
detained at gunpoint by Petaluma Police Department officer
Jacob Gutierrez. Plaintiff “proned out” on the
ground, lying on his belly with his arms out, and informed
Officer Gutierrez that Officer Gutierrez should not jump on
Plaintiff's back because Plaintiff recently had undergone
spinal surgery. Officer Gutierrez disregarded the warning and
jumped on Plaintiff's back, breaking Plaintiff's T-12
hardware screws and also bending other hardware. Plaintiff
immediately felt pain and realized that his back had been
broken. Plaintiff asked Officer Gutierrez and many other
officers for medical care, but all the officers refused.
Plaintiff was then taken to Sonoma County Jail, where his
requests for medical attention were also denied. Upon
arriving at the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation, Plaintiff received an MRI and x-rays which
showed that his T-12 hardware screws had been broken. As a
result of Officer Gutierrez's actions and the denial of
medical care while at Sonoma County Jail, Plaintiff now
requires spinal surgery to fix his broken back. Dkt. No. 1 at
names as defendants Officer Gutierrez, Petaluma Police
Department, Sonoma County Jail, and Sonoma County.
Claim No. 1: Excessive Force
complaint argues that Officer Gutierrez used excessive force
in violation of the Eighth Amendment when he jumped
needlessly on Plaintiff's back while detaining him. Dkt.
No. 1 at 3. An allegation that Officer Gutierrez used
excessive force in effectuating Plaintiff's arrest states
a valid claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Rutherford
v. City of Berkeley, 780 F.2d 1444, 1447 (9th Cir.
1986), overruled on other grounds by Graham v.
Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989); see also Byrd v.
Phoenix Police Dep't, 885 F.3d 639, 641-42 (9th Cir.
2018) (pro se allegations that police officers
“beat the crap out of” plaintiff and caused him
severe injury enough to support legally cognizable claim
under § 1983). ...