United States District Court, E.D. California
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has filed an
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (ECF No. 2).
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court
directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and
forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee
as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
alleges that in April 2017 he requested that the
Institutional Classification Committee (ICC) rescind his
special needs yard designation so he could remain housed at
California State Prison, Sacramento. ECF No. 1 at 4. In
considering plaintiff's request, defendant Warden
Baughman allegedly stated, “I thought you didn't
like the way we treat inmates here, ” in reference to
administrative appeals plaintiff had filed. Id. at
8. Baughman allegedly agreed to release plaintiff to the A
yard general population, but admonished plaintiff to
“stop filing 602s” and said that if he sees
plaintiff on the yard in six months, he expects “to not
remember him.” Id. In the following months,
plaintiff filed two staff complaints and two civil rights
lawsuits. Id. at 9.
or so later, plaintiff again convened with the ICC because of
a conflict with his cellmate. Id. at 10-11.
Defendant Baughman issued a tentative decision to keep
plaintiff housed in the A facility. Id. at 11.
However, on May 16, 2018, the ICC reconvened and in
Baughman's absence, defendant Peterson decided that
plaintiff should be transferred to the special needs yard at
Salinas Valley State Prison. Id. When plaintiff
questioned Peterson's reasoning for the transfer,
Peterson replied that plaintiff “had been
trouble.” Id. at 12. Plaintiff asked defendant
supervising correctional counselor Percy to intervene, but
she would not override Peterson's decision. Id.
Peterson did not transfer plaintiff to Salinas Valley State
Prison, but to the California Correctional Institution (CCI)
instead. Id. at 14, 17. According to plaintiff, CCI
is “the most violent correctional facility for male SNY
inmates . . . .” Id. at 14. Before the
transfer occurred, plaintiff again sought intervention from
Percy, stating that he is gay, and that CCI inmates are known
for attacking such inmates. Id. at 15. Percy simply
advised plaintiff that if he had problems he could
“always lock it up, ” in an apparent reference to
administrative segregation. Id. On November 6, 2018,
plaintiff was attacked by three inmates at CCI.
alleges that each of the defendants has violated his First
Amendment right to be free from retaliation and failed to
protect him in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Id. at 16, 18, 19. As ...