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Hubbard v. Johnson

United States District Court, N.D. California

October 29, 2019

ZANE HUBBARD, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL

          JON S. TIGAR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison (“SVSP”), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. His complaint (ECF No. 1) is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, or from an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         Federal 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.

         To 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. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         B. Complaint

         The complaint names the following defendants: SVSP Correctional Counselor II (“CCII”) Johnson, SVSP Dr. Elsaid, SVSP Warden Muniz, and Sacramento County Superior Court Judges Lucas, McCormick, and Sumner (collectively, the “judge-defendants”). ECF No. 1 (“Compl.”) at 1-3.

         The complaint makes the following allegations. Plaintiff is unlawfully in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”). On August 2018 and March 2019, the judge-defendants discriminated against Plaintiff based on his race when they found him incompetent to stand trial, sentenced him to the Department of State, and ordered him medicated and hospitalized if he refused to abandon his defense. Compl. at 4. Plaintiff filed five grievances alleging that the orders issued by defendants Judge McCormick and Judge Sumner were racially discriminatory. Id. Upon arriving at SVSP hospital in March 2019, Plaintiff filed two grievances alleging that the hospital was a threat to his health and safety. Id.

         On July 1, 2019, Plaintiff met with his Intra-Departmental Treatment Team (“IDTT”) Committee. Defendants CCII Johnson and SVSP Dr. Elsaid are both on his IDTT. Compl. at 5. At the meeting, Plaintiff was in mechanical arm restraints and calmly seated. Id. Upon meeting Plaintiff, defendant CCII Johnson said with aggression, “You are Black!” Id. Plaintiff responded, “Fuck you, stupid ass nigger bitch, don't call me that shit. I'm Maya.” Id. Defendant CCII Johnson responded, “What I said is not a reason to get mad, my file said you are Black!” Id. Plaintiff told Johnson that Black was not his heritage. Id. Plaintiff became defensive because defendant CCII Johnson knew from Plaintiff's file that “state government[s] are racially discriminatory against him.” Id. Plaintiff was then escorted back to his cell without incident. Id.

         On July 3, 2019, SVSP Medical Tech Assistant Strimikis offered Plaintiff psychotropic medication. Compl. at 5. Plaintiff refused the medication because he had been housed at SVSP for over four months without needing psychotropic medication. Compl. at 6. MTA Strimikis informed Plaintiff that he had been placed on an involuntary medication order and that if Plaintiff refused the medication, it would be administered intravenously. Id. Plaintiff stated that he was unaware of any involuntary medication order. Id. Dr. Elsaid gave Plaintiff a court order dated June 4, 2019 and signed by Judge Lureas that ordered that Plaintiff be involuntarily medicated. Id. Plaintiff claims that the June 4, 2019 order and the attempt to medicate him against his will are illegal, retaliatory and discriminatory because Dr. Elsaid ordered the medication after CCII Johnson insulted Plaintiff's heritage, Plaintiff is in mechanical restraints so does not pose an immediate, unnecessary danger; and Plaintiff did not threaten CCII Johnson. Compl. at 7. Plaintiff further alleges that the attempt to medicate him against his will is an excessive use of force. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' actions violate numerous state regulations, such as sections 3000, 3004, 3270, 3271, 3272, 3278, 3285, 3291, 3303(b)(1), 3380, 3391, 3413(a)(2), 3413(a)(6), and 3415 of the California Code of Regulations, title 15. Compl. at 7-8.

         Petitioner requests the following relief: (1) a preliminary restraining order against CDCR directors, secretaries and undersecretaries enjoining them from racial discrimination pursuant to Article 19c, Section 4 of the California Constitution, and Section 3418(c) of the California Code of Regulations, title 15; (2) “a jury public trial for racial discrimination, ” and (3) that CDCR Director Timothy M. Lockwood be required to pay the full ...


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