United States District Court, E.D. California
ANTOINE L. ARDDS, Plaintiff,
D. HICKS, et al., Defendants.
SCREENING ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND
(ECF NO. 23)
BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Antoine L. Ardds (“Plaintiff”) is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
initiated this action on September 21, 2018, and the matter
was transferred to this Court on September 26, 2018. (ECF
Nos. 1 and 3.) Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed
on December 11, 2018, is currently before the Court for
screening. (ECF No. 23.)
Screening Requirement and Standard
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against
an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion
thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . .
. .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations
are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts
“are not required to indulge unwarranted
inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted).
survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially
plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow
the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret
Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer
possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not
sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short
of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572
F.3d at 969.
is currently housed at California State Prison, Corcoran
(“CSP-Corcoran”), where the events in the amended
complaint are alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff brings this
action for damages, along with declaratory and injunctive
relief, against the following defendants: (1) Lieutenant J.
Amaya; (2) Correctional Counselor D. Sanchez; (3) Officer J.
Alcantar; (4) Officer J. McIntyre; (5) Officer D. Hicks; (6)
Officer A. Baylon; and (7) Licensed Correctional Social
Worker R. Severens. Plaintiff names defendants in their
individual and official capacities.
re Substantial Risk of Serious Harm
September 2, 2017, Plaintiff was housed in a CTC-Mental
Health Crisis Bed at CSP-Corcoran due to Plaintiff's
suicidal condition. On November 2, 2017, Defendants Severens
and Sanchez were informed by Plaintiff of his fears of being
set up by CSP-Corcoran-3B officials for being an active
participant in several civil actions against CDCR officials.
Plaintiff made several requests for a single cell due to an
alleged history of CDCR officials staging in-cell assaults by
December 28, 2017, Defendants Severens and Sanchez were given
Plaintiff's Inmate Request for Interview CDCR 22 form
requesting a single cell. Plaintiff informed both defendants
of the possible use of cellmates by CSP-Corcoran-3B officials
as instruments of assault in retaliation for filing civil
actions and witnessing abuse of authority and discriminatory
actions by CSP-Corcoran officials against the 3-B Facility
mental health population.
claims that due to the deliberate indifference of Defendants
Severens and Sanchez, Plaintiff was assaulted by his cell
mate, Inmate T. Hall, on November 9, 2017. Plaintiff
sustained severe facial injuries from being struck from
behind by Inmate Hall. Inmate Hall had a previous, similar
attack on another inmate with the same use of a state plastic
cup as a weapon.
alleges that Defendants Amaya, Hicks and Sanchez ignored the
substantial risk of harm posed to Plaintiff even with
personal knowledge of Plaintiff's history of in-cell and
out-of-cell assaults by cellmates. Plaintiff asserts that
Defendant Hicks was in charge of inmate housing assignments
and that Inmate Hall was intentionally placed in
filed several grievances/appeals and inmate request for
interview forms in which he continued to complain or request
single cell status due to his fears of being set up for
Severens, Sanchez and Hicks allegedly had previous knowledge
of the substantial risk of serious harm posed to Plaintiff
through their access to his central files. Plaintiff claims
that they ignored departmental policies, procedure and
Sanchez reportedly stated her awareness of such a threat
posed to Plaintiff in Plaintiff's UCC Hearing and his
CDCR 128(b) form dated November 2, 2017. Even with such
knowledge, Defendant Sanchez reportedly ignored the risk
factors and failed to intervene to safeguard Plaintiff.
contends that the due to the failure of all defendants to
comply with the Departmental Operations Manual, he was
viciously assaulted on November 9, 2017, and suffered severe
injuries to the right side of his face, eye, lips and nose
area from being struck with a state cup from behind by Inmate
November 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed his first appeal/grievance
complaining of the failure of Defendant Sanchez to honor his
request for single cell placement. Plaintiff reports that he
was brought before Defendant Sanchez in an effort to
threaten, intimidate and force Plaintiff to withdraw the
grievance. On December 19, 2017, Plaintiff stated in his
withdrawal that he would better address the issues in another
appeal regarding the assault.
re Failure to Protect
alleges that on January 19, 2016, Kathleen Allison, CDCR
Director, and Scott Kernan, CDCR Secretary, sent a memorandum
to all CDCR Wardens and Associate Directors addressing inmate
housing assignment considerations during the screening and
housing process. The memorandum reiterated and clarified the
obligation of Defendants Hicks, Alcantar, McIntyre, Baylon,
Sanchez, Severens and Amaya to consider the vulnerabilities
of inmates with mental and medical health conditions or
severe developmental disabilities when determining whether to
grant single cell status under the Departmental Operations
contends that he had demonstrated on several occasions
through departmental evidence that he fit each set of
criteria in the January 19, 2016 memorandum. Plaintiff claims
that each of these factors was intentionally ignored by
defendants due to their feelings about his commitment offense
and his continued civil actions and staff complaints.
Plaintiff further claims that they ignored the length of his
sentence, his enemies and victimization history, his
vulnerability due to medical or mental health and
disabilities, history of in-cell assaults and/or violence,
nature of commitment offense, history of “S”
suffix determination, and security threat group affiliation
and/or associate thereof. Plaintiff asserts that due to
defendants' failure to comply or implement an assessment
of these criteria, he was assaulted with a state plastic cup
from behind by Inmate Hall on November 9, 2017. At the time
of the attack, Plaintiff was in the medication line.
Plaintiff asserts that the attack was unprovoked and that he
had never met or had any words with Inmate Hall prior to that
re Use of Inmate Hall as an Instrument of Assault
alleges that on November 9, 2017, at approximately 8:00 p.m.,
he was assaulted by his cellmate, Inmate T. Hall. Inmate Hall
came behind Plaintiff during medication call and struck him
with a state plastic cup several times to his face, causing
severe injuries to his right eye, nose and lips, which later
required x-rays. Plaintiff claims that the attack was
unprovoked because Inmate Hall was just placed in his cell by
Defendants Hicks, Sanchez, Alcantar, McIntyre and Amaya, who
had prior knowledge of Inmate Hall's comments similar
assaults and STG affiliation to the SNY 2-5ers. Plaintiff
claims that these defendants knew that Inmate Hall posed a
substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff due to his enemies on
the yard and that he was looking for a way off the yard.
believes that Inmate Hall was placed in the cell of Inmate
Massey after the purported assault and batter on Plaintiff.
Due to Inmate Massey's complaints filed against unit
staff in unit one, Inmate Hall assaulted Inmate Massey, who
later paroled, with a state cup, causing severe injuries to
his eye on November 17, 2017.
claims that on November 9, 2017, Defendants Alcantar and
McIntyre were in position between the medication carts.
Plaintiff asserts that both had a bird's eye view of the
incident from beginning to end.
December 19, 2017, Plaintiff requested that each officer
state if he or she witnessed Inmate Hall strike him the face
several times. Defendants Alacantar and McIntyre offered the
use of a cup without being asked if such weapon was ever
used. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Alcantar, McIntyre,
Hicks and Amaya conspired with each other in using Inmate
Hall as their instrument to carry out the assault of
Plaintiff on November 9, 2017, by intentionally placing
Inmate Hall in Plaintiff's cell in retaliation for his
participation in civil acts and staff complaints against CDCR
officials. Plaintiff further alleges that each defendant had
access to the department's computer in which to evaluate
housing criteria and Defendant Amaya and Hicks were assigned
to housing inmates.
of Administrative Remedies
January 3, 2018, Plaintiff filed his second grievance/appeal
addressing the November 9, 2017 failure to protect against
the assault by Inmate Hall. Plaintiff claims that defendants
and their agents delayed and obstructed the process, making
administrative remedies unavailable. Plaintiff also claims
that defendants retaliated against him in his efforts to
resolve the matter through proper investigation or
evidentiary corroboration of his requested witnesses during
his disciplinary hearing on the charge of fighting.
March 5, 2018, Plaintiff received his grievance back, but it
was not in its original form. Plaintiff avers that defendants
attempted to manipulate the appeals process until Plaintiff
refiled his complaint on March 7, 2018, as instructed by
Inmate Appeals Coordinator T. Galaviz.
December 28, 2017, Plaintiff submitted his CDCR Inmate
Request for Interview Form to Defendants Sanchez and Severens
regarding their failure to honor his single cell request and
to document ...