United States District Court, E.D. California
SECOND SCREENING ORDER (Doc. 11)
K. OBERTO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
December 11, 2019, the Court screened Plaintiff's
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and found that
it states a cognizable excessive force claim under the Eighth
Amendment against Defendants Caldwell, Hurlbut, Medina,
Perez, and Taylor. (Doc. 9 at 4-5.) The Court found that
Plaintiff failed to state a cognizable retaliation claim and
did not exhaust administrative remedies with respect to
Defendants Martinez and Tamayo. (Id. at 5-6.) The
Court ordered Plaintiff to file a first amended complaint
curing the deficiencies identified in the Court's
screening order or, alternatively, a notice to proceed only
on the claims found cognizable. (Id. at 7.)
December 16, 2019, and January 1, 2020, Attorneys Kenneth
Chike Odiwe and John L. Burris made appearances on behalf of
Plaintiff, then filed a first amended complaint on his
behalf. (Docs. 10, 11.) In the amended complaint, Plaintiff
raises excessive force claims against all defendants, (Doc.
11 at 5-6), but omits the retaliation claim from
Plaintiff's original complaint.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The requirement applies regardless of whether the prisoner is
represented by counsel. See Id. The Court must
dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has
raised claims that are legally frivolous or 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The Court should dismiss a
complaint if it lacks a cognizable legal theory or fails to
allege sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory.
See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901
F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil
actions, with limited exceptions.” Swierkiewicz v.
Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 513 (2002). A complaint must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.
R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2). “Such a statement must simply
give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512 (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted).
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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
Furthermore, the “sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient to state a
cognizable claim, and “facts that are merely consistent
with a defendant's liability” fall short.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks and
1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of
constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting
under color of state law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
To state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must show a
causal connection between the actions of the defendants and
the deprivation alleged to have been suffered by the
plaintiff. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 373-75
(1976). The Ninth Circuit has held that “[a] person
‘subjects' another to the deprivation of a
constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if
he does an affirmative act, participates in another's
affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is
legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which
complaint is made.” Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d
740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978) (citation omitted).
his original complaint, the Court finds that Plaintiff states
a cognizable excessive force claim against Defendants
Caldwell, Hurlbut, Medina, Perez, and Taylor in his first
amended complaint. However, Plaintiff fails to provide a
causal connection between the alleged violation and
Defendants Martinez and Tamayo. In his factual allegations,
Plaintiff does not once mention Correctional Officer Martinez
or Psychiatric Technician Tamayo, (see Doc. 11 at
4-5), let alone show that their actions are in any way
related to the constitutional deprivation of which Plaintiff
chooses to file a second amended complaint, Plaintiff must
allege facts that show that each defendant subjected
Plaintiff to the alleged Eighth Amendment violation. See
Johnson, 588 at 743. If no such facts exist with respect
to any defendant, then Plaintiff should dismiss that
defendant. Although detailed factual allegations are not
required, Plaintiff must provide each defendant with fair