United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DECLINING SERVICE AND GRANTING LEAVE TO
A. TSUCHIDA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Conev, a Snohomish County Jail detainee filed a 28 U.S.C.
§ 1983 civil rights complaint against Debra Ballinger,
Nurse Meader, all Snohomish County Jail medical staff, and
the Snohomish County Jail. Dkt. 1. The Court declines to
serve the complaint because it fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, and is subject to dismissal.
However, because Mr. Conev is proceeding pro se, the
Court grants him leave to file by January 8,
2018, an amended complaint, or to show cause why the
complaint should not be dismissed.
Conev alleges he is a Snohomish County Jail detainee, and
that defendants have disregarded his medical issues.
Specifically, Mr. Conev claims before he was jailed, he was
not eating, and was malnourished. He contends he has been
jailed 40 days, and is “still very
malnutritioned” and has headaches, nausea, insomnia,
anxiety attacks and mood swings. Mr. Conev alleges he has
been “denied” by “Mr. D. Billenger”
even though a nurse told Mr. Conev he would receive a high
calorie diet. Mr. Conev also alleges the jail has not
provided adequate care for his constipation problems. He
claims he was provided medications (“pills”) and
a high fiber diet but they were not helpful. And finally Mr.
Conev alleges the jail waited a week before attending to an
sustain a civil rights action under § 1983, Mr. Convev
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 or federal law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991).
Liability of Parties
Conev names Snohomish County Jail as a defendant. The jail is
an agency that normally cannot be sued under § 1983.
See Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S. 356, 365 (1990). The
proper defendant is Snohomish County. However, to sue the
county, Mr. Conev must show the county itself violated his
rights or that it directed its employees to do so. Bd. of
County Comm'rs of Bryan County v. Brown, 520 U.S.
397, 404 (1994).
this theory of liability, the focus is on the county's
“policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision
officially adopted and promulgated by that body's
Officers.” City of St. Louis v. Praprotnik,
485 U.S. 112, 121 (1988) (quoting Monell, 436 U.S.
at 690). The county is not liable for the acts of its
employees under a respondeat superior theory of liability.
See Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658,
694 (1978). Therefore, in order to sue Snohomish County, Mr.
Conev must allege facts showing that any constitutional
deprivation he suffered was the result of a custom or policy
of the county.
1983 supervisory liability cannot be based on respondeat
superior. See Monell, 436 U.S. at 691. A § 1983
action may not be brought against a supervisor on a theory
the supervisor is liable for the acts of his or her
subordinates. See Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S.
312, 325, 102 S.Ct. 445, 70 L.Ed.2d 509 (1981).
unclear whether Mr. Conev has named any defendants who acted
in a supervisory capacity; there are no allegations contained
in the complaint showing this. To the extent the complaint is
premised upon the responsibility of an individual to
supervise medical employees at the Jail, Mr. Conev has failed
to state a § 1983 claim. To state a claim against any
individual defendant, he must allege facts showing that the
individual defendant participated in or directed the alleged
violation, or knew of the violation and failed to act to
prevent it. See Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193,
1194 (9th Cir.1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1154
(1999); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1948 (2009) (vicarious liability is inapplicable to a
§ 1983 suit).
Personal Participation - ...