United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DECLINING TO SERVE COMPLAINT AND GRANTING
PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND
Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge.
David Lancaster has submitted to the Court for filing a civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court,
having reviewed plaintiff's complaint, hereby finds and
ORDERS as follows:
Plaintiff is currently confined at the King County Regional
Justice Center in Kent, Washington. (See Dkt. 1-1 at
2.) He asserts in his complaint that after arriving at the
King County Jail in Seattle on the morning of February 25,
2017, he began experiencing severe chest pain and difficulty
breathing. (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff states that he
notified a corrections officer of his need for medical care,
but no medical attention was forthcoming. (Id.)
Instead, plaintiff claims, he was transferred to solitary
confinement for three days and never received any medical
care. (Dkt. 1-1 at 3.) Plaintiff maintains that he is now
scared to ask for medical attention, or to grieve this issue,
because the last time he requested care he was put in
solitary confinement. (Id.) Plaintiff identifies
King County as the lone defendant in this action, and he asks
that the County be ordered to pay for him to be seen by a
cardiologist of his choosing, and that the County pay all
related medical expenses. (See id. at 2, 4.)
order to sustain a civil rights action, a plaintiff must show
(1) that he suffered a violation of rights protected by the
Constitution or created by federal statute, and (2) that the
violation was proximately caused by a person acting under
color of state or federal law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). To satisfy
the second prong, a plaintiff must allege facts showing how
individually named defendants caused, or personally
participated in causing, the harm alleged in the complaint.
See Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir.
defendant cannot be held liable solely on the basis of
supervisory responsibility or position. Monell v.
Department of Social Servs., of City of New York, 436
U.S. 658, 691-694 (1978). Rather, a plaintiff must allege
that a defendant's own conduct violated the
plaintiff's civil rights. City of Canton, Ohio v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385-90 (1989). A local government
unit or municipality can be sued as a “person”
under § 1983. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691. However,
a municipality cannot be held liable under § 1983 solely
because it employs a tortfeasor. Id. A plaintiff
seeking to impose liability on a municipality under §
1983 must identify a municipal “policy” or
“custom” that caused his or her injury. Bryan
County Commissioners v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 403 (1997)
(citing Monell 436 U.S. at 694).
Court declines to order that plaintiff's complaint be
served because plaintiff fails to allege any viable claim
against King County, the only defendant named in this action.
The County may not be held liable in this civil rights action
solely because it employs individuals whom plaintiff believes
caused him harm. If plaintiff wishes to pursue a claim
against King County, he must identify the constitutional harm
he believes he suffered, he must identify the County policy
or custom which caused that harm, and he must set forth
specific facts demonstrating the County's involvement in
the alleged civil rights violation.
may also elect to pursue claims against individual employees
of King County if he believes specific employees caused him
harm. If plaintiff wishes pursue claims against individual
King County employees, he must clearly identify each employee
he wishes to proceed against, he must identify the
constitutional right violated by the conduct of each
employee, and he must set forth specific facts demonstrating
that each named employee personally participated in causing
him harm of federal constitutional dimension.
Plaintiff may file an amended complaint curing the above
noted deficiencies within thirty (30)
days of the date on which this Order is signed.
The amended complaint must carry the same case number as this
one. If no amended complaint is timely filed, the Court will
recommend that this action be dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.
is advised that an amended pleading operates as a
complete substitute for an original pleading.
See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th
Cir.) (citing Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner
& Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1990) (as
amended), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992). Thus,
any amended complaint must clearly identify each intended
defendant, the constitutional claim(s) asserted, the specific
facts which plaintiff believes support each claim against
each defendant, and the specific relief requested.
Clerk is directed to send plaintiff the appropriate forms so
that he may file an amended complaint. The Clerk is further
directed to send copies of this Order to ...