United States District Court, E.D. California
KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner, proceeding through counsel. On September
5, 2019, defendants removed this action from Lassen County
Superior Court. Defendants request that the court screen this
action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity, regardless of whether
plaintiff is represented by counsel. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a); In re Prison Litig. Reform Act, 105 F.3d
1131, 1134 (6th Cir. 1997) (“District courts are
required to screen all civil cases brought by prisoners,
regardless of whether the inmate paid the full filing fee, is
a pauper, is pro se, or is represented by counsel, as [§
1915A] does not differentiate between civil actions brought
reasons stated herein, plaintiff's claim alleging
violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights is
dismissed with leave to amend.
Standard for Screening
court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are “frivolous,
malicious, or fail[ ] to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, ” or that “seek[ ] monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b). A claim “is [legally] frivolous
where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28
(9th Cir. 1984). The critical inquiry is whether a
constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an
arguable legal and factual basis. Franklin, 745 F.2d
at 1227-28 (citations omitted).
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,' in order to ‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). However, in order to survive dismissal for failure
to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. (citations omitted).
“‘[T]he pleading must contain something more ...
than ... a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion
[of] a legally cognizable right of action.'”
Id. (alteration in original) (quoting 5 Charles Alan
Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure
§ 1216 (3d ed. 2004)).
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). In reviewing a complaint
under this standard, the court must accept as true the
allegations of the complaint in question, Hosp. Bldg. Co.
v. Trs. of the Rex Hosp., 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), as
well as construe the pleading in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's
favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421
(1969) (citations omitted).
as defendants are the California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”), High Desert State
Prison (“HDSP”), California Correctional Health
Care Services (“CCHCS”), Correctional Officers
Hall, Hollandsworth, David, Speiker, Phillips, Smith, Shannon
and Wentz, and Nurses Chiguaque and Rice.
alleges that on June 27, 2017, he was attacked by inmates on
the C-yard with some form of weapon. Plaintiff was stabbed in
the back. Defendants Hollandsworth, David, Speiker, Phillips,
Smith, Shannon, Wentz and Anderson were watching the yard and
charged with the safety and security of plaintiff. Plaintiff
alleges that the alarm never sounded. Plaintiff grabbed a
towel and proceeded toward the gun tower where an officer,
believed to be defendant Wentz, did not want to let plaintiff
be treated by medical staff.
was eventually let inside and told by a correctional officer
that someone had long fingernails, because plaintiff had cuts
on his back. Plaintiff was placed in a holding cell and began
to clean his wounds. Plaintiff noticed that he had a 6 to 7
inch cut on the back of his shoulders along with wounds to
the back of his head. As plaintiff cleaned his wounds,
defendant Wentz told staff that plaintiff had to be sent back
to the yard. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Rice and
Chiguaque observed his wounds but did nothing or little to
was instructed to return to the yard. As plaintiff re-entered
the yard approximately fifteen minutes after the attack,
plaintiff was again attacked by two inmates while defendants
Hall, Hollandsworth, David, Speiker, Phillips, Smith,
Shannon, Wentz and Anderson were charged with maintaining
plaintiff's safety. At this time, the alarm sounded and
defendant Hall yanked plaintiff's arm back, causing
plaintiff to suffer a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder
as plaintiff lay on the ground and was not resisting.
complaint contains the following legal claims: 1) negligence
against all defendants; 2) excessive force in violation of
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment against all defendants,
except for defendants CCHCS, Rice and Chiguaque; 3) violation
of the Bane Act against all defendants, except for defendants
CCHCS, Rice and ...