United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a federal prisoner, proceeds with a pro se civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The original complaint
was dismissed with leave to amend and plaintiff has filed an
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). 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. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri
v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
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." "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).
Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does
not need detailed factual allegations, . . . 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. The United States Supreme Court has recently explained
the “plausible on its face” standard of
Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide
the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by
factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by
the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated,
and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a
person acting under the color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
alleges that defendants failed to protect him from an assault
by another inmate.
Eighth Amendment requires that prison officials take
reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of prisoners.
Farmer, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). In particular,
prison officials have a duty to protect prisoners from
violence at the hands of other prisoners. Id. at
833; Cortez v. Skol, 776 F.3d 1046, 1050 (9th Cir.
2015); Hearns v. Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036, 1040 (9th
Cir. 2005). The failure of prison officials to protect
inmates from attacks by other inmates or from dangerous
conditions at the prison violates the Eighth Amendment when
two requirements are met: (1) the deprivation alleged is,
objectively, sufficiently serious; and (2) the prison
official is, subjectively, deliberately indifferent to inmate
health or safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834. A prison
official is deliberately indifferent if he knows of and
disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety by
failing to take reasonable steps to abate it. Id. at
a § 1983 or a Bivens action - where masters do
not answer for the torts of their servants - the term
‘supervisory liability' is a misnomer. Absent
vicarious liability, each Government official, his or her
title notwithstanding, is only liable for his or her own
misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677 (finding
under Twombly, 550 U.S. at 544, and Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that complainant-detainee
in a Bivens action failed to plead sufficient facts
“plausibly showing” that top federal officials
“purposely adopted a policy of classifying
post-September-11 detainees as ‘of high interest'
because of their race, religion, or national origin”
over more likely and non-discriminatory explanations).
supervisor may be liable under section 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. Henry A. v. Willden, 678 F.3d 991,
1003-04 (9th Cir. 2012). Even if a supervisory official is
not directly involved in the allegedly unconstitutional
conduct, “[a] supervisor can be liable in this
individual capacity for his own culpable action or inaction
in the training, supervision, or control of his subordinates;
for his acquiescence in the constitutional deprivation; or
for conduct that showed a reckless or callous indifference to
the rights of others.” Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d
1202, 1208 (9th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). The claim that
a supervisory official “knew of unconstitutional
conditions and ‘culpable actions of his
subordinates' but failed to act amounts to
‘acquiescence in the unconstitutional conduct of his
subordinates' and is ‘sufficient to state a claim
of supervisory liability.'” Keates v.
Koile, 883 F.3d 1228, 1243 (9th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Starr, 652 F.3d at 1208) (finding that conclusory
allegations that supervisor promulgated unconstitutional
policies and procedures which authorized unconstitutional
conduct of subordinates do not suffice to state a claim of
argues that he was mistakenly released from federal custody
and transferred to San Quentin State Prison
(“SQSP”) while he awaited deportation by federal
authorities. At SQSP plaintiff was walking to his housing
unit when a riot broke out and he was assaulted by an unknown
individual. He states he was rendered unconscious and
suffered serious injuries. While he was recovering from his
injuries he was deported to Mexico. It appears this incident
occurred sometime between 2013 and 2015.
original complaint was dismissed with leave to amend to
provide more information. The only defendants were the Warden
of SQSP, the Sheriff of Santa Clara County and the Director
of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Yet, plaintiff failed
to describe the actions of any defendant or any individual.
To state an Eighth Amendment violation, plaintiff must
identify specific defendants and describe how they were
deliberately indifferent to his safety. Plaintiff was
informed that simply stating that there was a riot and he was
injured was insufficient. He must present allegations that
defendants knew of and disregarded a risk to his safety and
failed to take reasonable steps to protect him. Also, that
some of these defendants are supervisors was ...