United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND RE: DKT. NO.
ILLSTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Peace, an inmate at the San Francisco County Jail,
California, filed a pro se civil rights complaint
seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint is
now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Peace alleges in his complaint that he slipped and fell in
the shower on September 11, 2018 at the San Francisco County
Jail. He attributes his fall to the “broken down
flooded shower” that lacked grip tape on the floor,
safety mats, and hand railings. Docket No. 1 at 3. Peace hurt
his lower back and tailbone when he fell. He “let staff
and medical know of [his] fall only to be put on medical list
after list for a 2 month period”; he was only given a
few Tylenol and a hot pack. Id. He still has pain in
his back. The shower is “still broken” and not
federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of 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). The Court must
identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which
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. at
§ 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally
construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police
Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Section 1983 Claim
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and
(2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under
the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988).
complaint fails to state a claim against a viable defendant
and therefore must be dismissed. Leave to amend is granted so
that Peace may attempt to file an amended complaint that
cures the deficiencies discussed in this order.
has not identified a proper defendant. The lone defendant is
the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant Street in San Francisco.
That is a building and not a legal entity capable of being
sued. Typically, a § 1983 claim will be brought against
the individual wrongdoers, such as the persons who allegedly
failed to provide adequate medical care for Peace. In his
amended complaint, Peace may list as defendants those
individuals he wishes to sue for violating his constitutional
rights. He must be careful to allege facts showing the basis
for liability for each individual defendant. He should not
refer to them as a group (e.g., “the
defendants”); rather, he should identify each involved
defendant by name and link each of them to his claim by
explaining what each defendant did or failed to do that
caused a violation of his constitutional rights. See Leer
v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 634 (9th Cir. 1988) (liability
may be imposed on individual defendant under § 1983 only
if plaintiff can show that defendant proximately caused
deprivation of federally protected right). A supervisor may
be liable under § 1983 upon a showing of (1) personal
involvement in the constitutional deprivation or (2) a
sufficient causal connection between the supervisor's
wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation. See
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011).
There is no respondeat superior liability under § 1983,
that is, there is no liability under section 1983 solely
because one is responsible for the actions or omissions of
another. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045
(9th Cir. 1989).
amended complaint, Peace must state whether he was a convict
or a pretrial detainee at the time the relevant events
occurred because the claims arise under different
constitutional provisions (i.e., a convict's medical care
claims arise under the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and
Unusual Punishments Clause while a pretrial detainee's
medical care claims arise under the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause) and those provisions now
have different standards.
indifference to a convicted prisoner's serious medical
needs violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of
cruel and unusual punishment. See Estelle v. Gamble,
429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d
1051, 1057 (9th Cir. 2004). To establish an Eighth Amendment
claim based on inadequate medical care, a prisoner-plaintiff
must show: (1) a serious medical need, and (2) deliberate
indifference thereto by a defendant. The subjective
deliberate indifference standard that applies in an Eighth
Amendment claim requires that the official know of and
disregard an excessive risk to inmate health or safety.
See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994).
“[T]he official must both be aware of facts from which
the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of
serious harm exists, and he must also draw the
inference.” Id. A claim of medical malpractice
or negligence is insufficient to make out a violation of the
Eighth Amendment. See Toguchi, 391 F.3d at 1060-61.
If Peace was a convict at the relevant time, he must allege
facts in his amended complaint showing both a serious medical
need and deliberate indifference thereto by each named
pretrial detainee's claim arises under the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause and is governed by an
objective deliberate-indifference standard rather
than the subjective one that applies to a convicted
[T]he elements of a pretrial detainee's medical care
claim against an individual defendant under the due process
clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are: (i) the defendant
made an intentional decision with respect to the conditions
under which the plaintiff was confined; (ii) those conditions
put the plaintiff at substantial risk of suffering serious
harm; (iii) the defendant did not take reasonable available
measures to abate that risk, even though a reasonable
official in the circumstances would have appreciated the high
degree of risk involved-making the ...