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Petillo v. Baughman

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 9, 2019

SIDNEY PETILLO, Plaintiff,
v.
D. BAUGHMAN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          DENNIS M. COTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, 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. 7) alleging violations of his rights under the Fourth Amendment, Eighth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment. The document docketed as Plaintiff's second amended civil rights complaint (ECF No. 18) is construed as a motion for discovery, as such the motion is denied as premature.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT AND STANDARD

         The 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).

         The 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).

         Prisoners 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.

         II. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff names nine Defendants: (1) D. Boughman, (2) Clough, (3) Hainey, (4) Mallet, (5) Jones, (6) Porter, (7) Herrera, (8) Castillo, and (9) Villasenor. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Jones struck him in the chest while he was in the yard, causing Plaintiff to suffer a laceration wound, violating his Eighth Amendment rights. Plaintiff also alleges Jones used derogatory, discriminatory, homophobic, and racist language, violating Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff contends Defendants Hainey and Mallot ordered him to be strip searched without cause or justification in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Further, Plaintiff alleges Mallot, Herrera, Castello, and Villasenor slammed him against a metal cage in violation of his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. In addition, Plaintiff alleges Herrera grabbed, touched, and groped his genitalia, attempting to arouse Plaintiff in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Finally, Plaintiff alleges Herrera and Costello, improperly strip searched him in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiff alleges no facts indicating Defendants Clough, Baughman, or Porter violated any of his constitutional rights.

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts for his claims against Defendants Jones, Hainey, Mallot, Herrera, Castello, and Villasenor to proceed past screening.

         A. Defendant Porter

         The 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)). Claims must be stated simply, concisely, and directly. See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996) (referring to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e)(1)). These rules are satisfied if the complaint gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it rests. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996). Because a plaintiff must allege, with at least some degree of particularity, overt acts by specific defendants which support the claims, vague and conclusory allegations fail to satisfy this standard. Additionally, 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).

         Plaintiff has alleged no facts indicating Defendant Porter violated any of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. The only factual information this Court was able to find related to Porter in the complaint was that Porter stated, “I'll go get him some boxer shorts.” ECF No. 7 at 7. This is not sufficient to state a claim against Porter as it does not establish a constitutional violation. Because Plaintiff has failed to show that Porter violated any constitutional right which would entitle Plaintiff to relief, Plaintiff has failed to meet the Rule 8 pleading standard. See Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996). Thus, Plaintiff's claim against Porter cannot pass screening.

         B. Defendants ...


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