United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER ORDER THAT PLAINTIFF: (1) NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE WILL
PROCEED ONLY ON THE CLAIMS SANCTIONED BY THIS ORDER AND
VOLUNTARILY DISMISS ALL OTHER CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS; (2) FILE
A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; OR (3) NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE
WISHES TO STAND BY HIS COMPLAINT, SUBJECT TO DISMISSAL OF
CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS CONSISTENT WITH THIS ORDER ECF NO. 1
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PRODUCE SUMMONS ECF
Richard Carrasco is a state prisoner proceeding without
counsel in this civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff's complaint, ECF No. 1, is before
the court for screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Plaintiff alleges that he was physically assaulted by prison
officials, that his medical needs were ignored, and that
officials retaliated against him for attempting to submit
grievances. He lists seventeen prison officials, including
four unnamed “Does, ” as defendants. ECF No. 1 at
3. I find that plaintiff has stated an Eighth Amendment
excessive-force claim against defendants Johnny Cababe,
Robert Ruvalcaba, Robert Ruiz, and Brian Morse, as well as a
First Amendment retaliation claim against defendant Doe
number four, but no other claims. Plaintiff must choose
between (1) proceeding only on the claims found cognizable by
the court and voluntarily dismissing all other claims and
defendants, (2) amending the complaint to add facts in an
attempt to make out additional claims or claims against
additional defendants, or (3) standing by the current
complaint subject to dismissal of claims and defendants
consistent with this order.
AND PLEADING REQUIREMENTS
federal court must screen a prisoner's complaint that
seeks relief against a governmental entity, officer, or
employee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court
must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
complaint must contain a short and plain statement that
plaintiff is entitled to relief, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and
provide “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The plausibility
standard does not require detailed allegations, but legal
conclusions do not suffice. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). If the allegations “do not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, ” the complaint states no claim.
Id. at 679. The complaint need not identify “a
precise legal theory.” Kobold v. Good Samaritan
Reg'l Med. Ctr., 832 F.3d 1024, 1038 (9th Cir.
2016). Instead, what plaintiff must state is a
“claim”-a set of “allegations that give
rise to an enforceable right to relief.” Nagrampa
v. MailCoups, Inc., 469 F.3d 1257, 1264 n.2 (9th Cir.
2006) (en banc) (citations omitted).
court must construe a pro se litigant's complaint
liberally. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972) (per curiam). The court may dismiss a pro se
litigant's complaint “if it appears beyond doubt
that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claim which would entitle him to relief.” Hayes
v. Idaho Corr. Ctr., 849 F.3d 1204, 1208 (9th Cir.
2017). However, “‘a liberal interpretation of a
civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of
the claim that were not initially pled.'” Bruns
v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257
(9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673
F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).
Requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 1983
1983 allows a private citizen to sue for the deprivation of a
right secured by federal law. See 42 U.S.C. §
1983; Manuel v. City of Joliet, Ill., 137 S.Ct. 911,
916 (2017). To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff
must show that a defendant acting under color of state law
caused an alleged deprivation of a right secured by federal
law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Soo Park v.
Thompson, 851 F.3d 910, 921 (9th Cir. 2017). The
plaintiff can satisfy the causation requirement by showing
either (1) the defendant's “personal
involvement” in the alleged deprivation or (2) a
“sufficient causal connection” between the
defendant's conduct as a supervisor and the alleged
deprivation. See King v. Cty. of Los Angeles, 885
F.3d 548, 559 (9th Cir. 2018).
defendants here are all state-prison employees who, accepting
plaintiff's allegations as true, can be inferred to have
acted under color of state law. See Paeste v. Gov't
of Guam, 798 F.3d 1228, 1238 (9th Cir. 2015)
(“[G]enerally, a public employee acts under color of
state law while acting in his official capacity or while
exercising his responsibilities pursuant to state law.”
(quoting West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 50 (1988))).
However, plaintiff has failed to satisfy the causation
requirement with respect to seven defendants: Mack, Hart,
Warden Doe, Vasquez, Litt, Doe number two, and Doe number
three. While these defendants are mentioned in passing
throughout the complaint, plaintiff has not alleged
sufficient facts that link any of them to an alleged
deprivation. See also Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1207 (9th Cir. 2011) (“[W]hen a supervisor is found
liable . . . the supervisor is being held liable for his or
her own culpable action or inaction, not held vicariously
liable for the culpable action or inaction of his or her
remaining question is whether the alleged actions of the
other ten defendants violated federal law.
Force and the Eighth Amendment
alleges that four defendants-Cababe, Ruvalcava, Morse, and
Ruiz-severely beat him without justification while he was
restrained. ECF No. 1 at 8. Plaintiff alleges that the
beating caused permanent eye damage and other serious medical
issues. Id. at 12. These allegations are sufficient
to state an excessive-force Eighth Amendment claim against
defendants Cababe, Ruvalcava, Morse, and Ruiz. See Hudson
v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6-7 (1992).