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 first amended complaint (ECF No. 19).
Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his rights under the
First Amendment and Eighth Amendment.
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
names the following as defendants: (1) Z. Wheeler (2) N.
Romney (3) Scott Kernan (4) D. Baughman. See ECF No.
19, at 2. Plaintiff raises two claims. First, Plaintiff
alleges Defendants Z. Wheeler and N. Romney retaliated
against him, in violation of his First Amendment rights, by
threatening Plaintiff with physical violence because he is a
patient of the Enhance Out Patient Program
(“EOP”) and because he attempted to reach out for
help when having suicidal ideations. Id. at 17.
Second, Plaintiff alleges Defendants Z. Wheeler and N. Romney
violated his Eighth Amendment rights by using excessive
force, despite Plaintiff allegedly not violating any prison
rules or acting disruptively at the time. Id.
Plaintiff claims while Defendants Z. Wheeler and N. Romney
escorted him to a medical triage treatment area, he was
verbally harassed, taunted, and ridiculed by both Defendants.
Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleges Defendants, in order to
prove a point, twice threw Plaintiff face first into the
pavement, twisting and jumping on Plaintiff's back,
wrist, and left shoulder. Id. Plaintiff alleges he
was handcuffed and in leg restraints and did not jerk, yank,
or pose any threat to the officers. Id. at 4.
Plaintiff states he was immediately treated by emergency room
staff for wounds to both of his wrists and abrasions to his
left shoulder. Id. Plaintiff does not specifically
address Defendants Scott Kernan and D. Baughman in the
currently set forth, this Court finds Plaintiff alleges
sufficient facts in his Eighth Amendment claim to pass
screening. However, Plaintiff's First Amendment claim
fails because it is unclear to the Court whether Plaintiff is
alleging retaliation for being an EOP member and needing
mental health care, or if Plaintiff alleges a violation of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Scott Kernan and D.
Baughman fail to meet the pleading standard under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 8, as Plaintiff fails to specify
which Defendant engaged in conduct that lead to an alleged
Claims Against Defendants Scott Kernan and D.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must
allege an actual connection or link between the actions of
the named defendants and the alleged deprivations. See
Monell v. Dep't of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658
(1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976).
“A person ‘subjects' another to the
deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of
§ 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in
another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act
which he is legally required to do that causes the
deprivation of which complaint is made.” Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Vague and
conclusory allegations concerning the involvement of official
personnel in civil rights violations are not sufficient.
See Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th
Cir. 1982). Rather, the plaintiff must set forth specific
facts as to each individual defendant's causal role in
the alleged constitutional deprivation. See Leer v.
Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988).
Plaintiff failed to specifically name or address Defendants
Scott Kernan and D. Baughman in the complaint, and Plaintiff
does not allege facts to establish how these defendants'
personal conduct violated Plaintiff's constitutional or
statutory rights. Because Plaintiff fails to allege any facts
indicating how Defendants Scott Kernan and D. Baughman
engaged in the alleged unconstitutional action, Plaintiff has
failed to satisfy the Rule 8 pleading standard. Further,
because Plaintiff failed to attribute any of the alleged
unconstitutional conduct to either Scott Kernan and D.
Baughman, this Court is unable to engage in a substantive
analysis to determine if sufficient facts exist to support a
claim. Plaintiff will be provided an opportunity to amend the