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Jacobs v. CSR Reps

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 9, 2016

GEORGE E. JACOBS, Plaintiff,
CSR REPS, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His complaint is before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous, malicious, ” or that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         II. Pleading Standard

         Section 1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

         To state a claim under § 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 violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

         A 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)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 677-78.

         III. Plaintiff’s Allegations

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at California State Prison - Corcoran, where the acts giving rise to his complaint occurred. He names the following defendants in their individual and official capacities: (1) “CSR Reps, ” (2) “CP-R Reps, ” (3) Warden Dave Davey, and (4) Sergeant Alvarado.

         Plaintiff’s allegations may be summarized essentially as follows:

         Beginning in 2012, Corcoran officials began to make false allegations that Plaintiff had safety and security concerns.[1] Since that time, Plaintiff has continually denied that he has such concerns.

         On March 29, 2015, Warden Davey agreed that the allegations were invalid and released Plaintiff to the general population pending transfer to another institution. Plaintiff successfully programmed on the general population yard for several months. During that time, Plaintiff was denied transfer by CSR Reps and CP-R Reps based on the “bogus” allegations of safety concerns.

         Something unspecified occurred on May 6, 2015. As a result, CSR Reps and CP-R Reps received additional “bogus” information regarding Plaintiff’s safety concerns.

         Plaintiff was injured on November 13, 2015. He does not explain the mechanism of his injury, but states that his injury would not have occurred were it not for the bogus allegations that prevented his transfer. He states that Defendants tried to force him to accuse another inmate as his attacker but Plaintiff refused. On November 14, 2015, Plaintiff was placed on Administrative Segregation (“AdSeg”) status by Sergeant Alvarado. However, Plaintiff was not immediately placed in the AdSeg unit, apparently because he was hospitalized. Plaintiff’s arm was broken and was not operated on for a month. Plaintiff was given inadequate pain medication.

         On March 11, 2016, Plaintiff was discharged from the hospital pending transfer to an outpatient medical institution for treatment of his right arm. Defendants were aware of Plaintiff’s medical condition. However, Defendants placed Plaintiff in AdSeg due to a report from Alvarado that Plaintiff had safety concerns with the “Bloods” security threat group. This information was false. Plaintiff was denied medical treatment. “Prison personnel” became verbally aggressive and refused to provide ADA accommodations for Plaintiff’s arm.

         On May 3, 2016, Plaintiff was taken to an Institutional Classification Committee (“ICC”) hearing. The Committee confirmed that the allegations of security concerns were invalid. The ICC determined to release Plaintiff to the general population pending an accelerated transfer to another institution for treatment of Plaintiff’s mental health conditions.

         On May 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed a 602 challenging the ICCs decision not to send Plaintiff to a medical prison for treatment of his arm. He states that the prisons the ICC indicated it would transfer him to are violent and would subject him to risk of further injury to his arm. He alleges that such transfer violates various provisions of the California Code of Regulations.

         Thereafter, Defendants CSR Reps and CP-R Reps cancelled the accelerated transfer. Plaintiff believes this was done in retaliation for Plaintiff filing a 602. Plaintiff was told by a Correctional Counselor II that Defendants relied on false information from May 6, 2015, when Plaintiff was housed in the general population. Plaintiff was told that he could not be transferred until IGI investigators filed a closure statement.

         At the time of filing his complaint, Plaintiff remained in solitary confinement. As a result, he has been unable to see his family. He also alleges that such confinement violates the “Coleman Act.” He states that his continued placement in solitary generates suspicion amongst other prisoners that puts Plaintiff’s life, and his family members’ lives, in danger.

         On May 16, 2016, Plaintiff received notice of a computerized data breach that compromised Plaintiff’s personal information and health information when a CDCR laptop was stolen. He fears that such information in the wrong hands will lead to a “hit” on his family.

         Plaintiff claims violation of his First, Eight, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and Article 5 of the California Constitution. He claims that Warden Davey and “the hiring authority” failed to train their designees and turned a blind eye to violations. He seeks release from solitary confinement and money damages.

         IV. Analysis

         A. Doe Defendants

         Plaintiff lists unnamed CSR Reps and CP-R Reps as Defendants. The Court construes this as an attempt to ...

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