United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND AND DIRECTING
PLAINTIFF TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge.
Abel Robinson, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. On November 2, 2017, the Court
granted Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (“IFP”), and Plaintiff's
Complaint was filed. See Dkt. 6, 7. Prior to the
Court screening the Complaint, Plaintiff filed a Motion to
Supplement Complaint (Dkt. 8) and a Proposed Amended
Complaint (Dkt. 8-1). As Plaintiff can amend his Complaint
once as a matter of right under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 15, the Court grants Plaintiff's Motion to
Supplement Complaint (Dkt. 8). Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint acts as a complete substitute for his original
Complaint and the Amended Complaint is now the operative
complaint in this case.
reviewed and screened Plaintiff's Amended Complaint under
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court declines to serve the
Amended Complaint but provides Plaintiff leave to file an
amended pleading by December 6, 2017, to cure the
deficiencies identified herein.
who is incarcerated at the Pierce County Jail
(“Jail”), alleges Defendants are acting with
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Dkt. 8-1. Plaintiff states
he suffers from asthma, bowel and bladder infections, and
complications from a gunshot wound. Id. He is
wheelchair bound and has not been provided with adequate
treatment and accommodations for his medical problems.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 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 the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152
F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must show: (1) he suffered a violation of
rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (2) the violation was proximately caused by a
person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The first
step in a § 1983 claim is therefore to identify the
specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
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 Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633
(9th Cir. 1988); Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355
(9th Cir. 1981). A person subjects another to a deprivation
of a constitutional right when committing an affirmative act,
participating in another's affirmative act, or omitting
to perform an act which is legally required. Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Sweeping
conclusory allegations against an official are insufficient
to state a claim for relief. Leer, 844 F.2d at 633.
Further, a § 1983 suit cannot be based on vicarious
liability alone, but must allege the defendant's own
conduct violated the plaintiff's civil rights. City
of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385-90 (1989).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff names the following Defendants:
“PCCDC Medical Dept., ” Administrator Slothower,
Doctor Balderrama, and Nurses F. Park, Frank, B. Cammer, S.
Bval, C. Sabo, D. Ricci, V. Valencia, K. Lipscomb, M.
Eliasson, C. Carrillo, P. Smith, M. Gonzalez, E. Yagi, B.
Blowers, and R. Rains. See Dkt. 8-1. Plaintiff fails
to state the alleged wrong-doing of any Defendant in this
case. He provides detailed information regarding his medical
condition. Id. He, however, fails to explain what
actions or inactions by Defendants resulted in deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs. See id.
Rather, Plaintiff provides only a generalized statement
alleging “Defendants” were deliberately
indifferent to Plaintiff's needs by denying Plaintiff a
shower and diapers.
conclusory allegations are insufficient to show Defendants
personally participated in the alleged constitutional
violations. See Jones v. Community Development
Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984) (vague and
mere conclusory allegations unsupported by facts are not
sufficient to state section 1983 claims). Therefore, if
Plaintiff wishes to pursue this § 1983 action, he must
provide a short, plain statement explaining exactly what each
Defendant did or failed to do and how the actions violated
Plaintiff's constitutional rights and caused him harm.
unclear, Plaintiff may be attempting to name Pierce County
Jail as a defendant in this case. See Dkt. 8-1. The
Pierce County Jail is not a legal entity capable of being
sued under § 1983. Rather, Pierce County, a
municipality, would be the proper defendant. See Monell
v. New York City Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658,
690, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978); Wright v.
Clark County Sheriff's Office, 2016 WL 1643988, *2
(W.D. Wash. April 26, 2016). To set forth a claim against a
municipality, a plaintiff must show the defendant's
employees or agents acted through an official custom,
pattern, or policy permitting deliberate indifference to, or
violating, the plaintiff's civil rights, or that the
entity ratified the unlawful conduct. Id. at 690-91.
A plaintiff must show (1) deprivation of a constitutional
right; (2) the municipality has a ...