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Hayes v. Martinez

United States District Court, N.D. California

October 17, 2019

HENRY C. HAYES, Plaintiff,
v.
MAURICIO MARTINEZ, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE; ORDER DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO FILE A DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING SUCH MOTION; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK DKT. NO. 8

          WILLIAM H. ORRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Henry Hayes has stated Eighth Amendment claims against various persons at Pelican Bay State Prison. The Court directs defendants to file in response to the complaint a dispositive motion, or a notice regarding such motion, on or before January 27, 2020.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that 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 Id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

         A “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 Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Furthermore, a court “is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994).

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         B. Legal Claims

         Hayes alleges that in 2019 staff at Pelican Bay State Prison forced him to wear prison-issued underwear, which contains synthetic materials to which he is allergic, even though he prefers to wear cotton underwear he has purchased. When liberally construed, Hayes has stated Eighth Amendment claims against Dr. Mauricio Martinez; A. Harris, a prison guard; D. Nelson, a correctional sergeant; Fillipia, a correctional sergeant; Tiffany Greiger, a nurse; Dr. Jacobsen; and S. Manion, a correctional lieutenant.

         All other claims are DISMISSED. Hayes's claims against Rhoda Nasr, a nurse, are DISMISSED. Nasr merely filed a request to have Hayes medically evaluated. This does not state a claim under the Eighth Amendment. His claims against Jim Robertson, the warden, are DISMISSED. There is no respondeat superior liability under § 1983, see Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989), which means that a person is not automatically held responsible simply because he or she is a supervisor of an employee who commits a wrong. It is not enough that the supervisor merely has a supervisory relationship over the defendants; the plaintiff must show that the supervisor “participated in or directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them.” Id. (emphasis added). There is nothing in the complaint that indicates personal knowledge or involvement.

         CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows:

         1. The Clerk of the Court shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of the complaint in this matter (Dkt. No. 1), all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon the following persons at Pelican Bay State Prison: Dr. Mauricio Martinez; A. Harris, a prison guard; D. Nelson, a correctional sergeant; Fillipia, a correctional sergeant; Tiffany Greiger, a nurse; Dr. Jacobsen; and S. Manion, a correctional ...


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