United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division
ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
DOUGLAS F. MCCORMICK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
April 2019, Allan Scott (“Plaintiff”) filed this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
See Dkt. 1 (“Complaint”). After the
Court dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend,
see Dkt. 5, Plaintiff filed the operative First
Amended Complaint (“FAC”), see Dkt. 6.
The FAC names the following defendants: (1) Los Angeles
County (“the County”); (2) the Los Angeles County
Sheriffs Department (“LASD”); (3) Sheriff
McDonnell; and (4) Deputy Scotti. See Id. at 3-4.
The FAC names the County and LASD in their official capacity
only and names McDonnell and Scotti in both their individual
and official capacity. See id.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must screen the FAC to
determine whether it is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim on which relief might be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. As discussed below, the FAC suffers from deficiencies
and must be dismissed.
OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated, his claims do not
pertain to the conditions of his own confinement.
See FAC at 1-2, 5. Instead, Plaintiffs allegations
arise out of his fiancée's confinement at the
Century Regional Detention Facility (“CRDF”) in
Lynwood, California. See id. at 5-6.
alleges that his fiancée, Jennifer Matthews, was
pregnant with their son while in custody at CRDF in 2017.
See id. at 2. When Matthews was five months
pregnant, Scotti raped and sexually abused her while on duty
at CRDF. See id at 2, 5. Matthews reported the
events by telephone to Plaintiff, who was not in custody at
the time. See id. Upon hearing the news, Plaintiff
felt “shocked, hurt, angry, disoriented, and put under
duress.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff complains that
the abuse caused his newborn son to experience health
complications, including “Pre-Mature Birth
Complex” and breathing issues. Id. Plaintiffs
son was born approximately six months into Matthews's
pregnancy, weighed one pound at birth, and remained
hospitalized in various intensive care units for six months
until being released in April 2019. See id. at 6.
Plaintiff “witnessed] firsthand how extreme and
life-threatening [his] son's premature health issues
were” and found this “emotionally
alleges that the sexual abuse violated his son's
constitutional rights under the Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendments, as well as his own constitutional rights due to
the “familial emotional separation and unrest”
that ensued. Id. Plaintiff also indicates that
Matthews has already filed and settled a lawsuit based on the
events in question. See id. at 2; see also
Matthews v. Cty. of Los Angeles, No. CV 17-07908-DMG
(PLA), (CD. Cal. Apr. 16, 2018), Dkt. 34.
seeks compensatory and punitive damages. See id. at
STANDARD OF REVIEW
for failure to state a claim “can be based on the lack
of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient
facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory.”
Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d
696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988) (as amended). The complaint is
construed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff and all
material allegations are taken to be true. See Love v.
United States, 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1989). A
complaint must “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). This means that the
complaint must plead “factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “The plausibility
standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
civil rights cases where the plaintiff appears pro se, the
court must construe the pleadings liberally and must afford
plaintiff the benefit of any doubt.” Karim-Panahi
v. L.A. Police Dep't839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir.
1988). “A pro se litigant must be given leave to amend
his or her complaint unless it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment.” Id. Before dismissing a pro se
civil rights complaint for ...