United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
JAMES C. OSBORNE, Plaintiff,
BRUCE DAMMEIER, et al., Defendants.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND COMPLAINT
RICHARD CREATURA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
James C. Osborne, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges his constitutional
rights were violated when his schizophrenia medication was
withheld and when he was unconstitutionally placed in
segregation. However, he has not alleged personal
participation by any of the named defendants. Having reviewed
and screening plaintiff's complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court declines to serve plaintiff's
complaint because plaintiff has yet to plead sufficient facts
to demonstrate that defendants violated his constitutional
rights. However, the Court provides plaintiff leave to file
an amended pleading by March 2, 2018, to cure the
deficiencies identified herein.
appears to be a pretrial detainee who is currently housed at
Western State Hospital. See Dkt. 4. Though unclear,
his complaint alleges that he was mistreated while detained
at the Pierce County Jail (“Jail”). Dkt. 1,
Attachment 1 at 3. He states he was refused his prescription
for schizophrenia when he entered the Jail and that staff
continued to refuse his medication despite his protests.
Id. He also alleges that he was unlawfully housed in
segregation and that, when he did share a cell, it was with a
sex offender who attempted to assault him. Id. He
seeks relief in the form of $3 million and what appears to be
a request for an injunction requiring the Jail to hire more
psychiatric staff. Id. at 4.
Personal Participation by Defendants
his complaint is unclear, plaintiff appears to allege that
officials in the Jail denied him adequate mental health care
and housed him in unconstitutional conditions. However,
plaintiff does not explain any personal actions by the named
defendant. These allegations are insufficient to state a
claim under § 1983.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must
allege facts showing how a defendant caused or personally
participated in causing the harm alleged in the complaint.
Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988);
Arnold, 637 F.2d at 1355. A person subjects another
to a deprivation of a constitutional right when committing an
affirmative act, participating in another's affirmative
act, or failing 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).
plaintiff has not shown personal participation by defendants.
He states that upon entry to the Jail, his schizophrenia
medication was withheld. Dkt. 1, Attachment 1 at 3. He
further alleges that staff “told [him] flat out
we're not giving you anything . . . .” Id.
He also claims Jail staff unlawfully held him in segregation
and that, when he was housed with a cellmate, the cellmate
was a sex offender who attempted to assault him. Id.
However, he does not explain how any of the defendants
participated in these alleged constitutional violations. He
provides no particular actions or names, instead referring to
the alleged actors as “pill lady, ” “mental
health, ” and simply “they.” Id.
Without providing more particularity, plaintiff has failed to
allege personal participation by any of the named defendants.
addition, read liberally, plaintiff's complaint raises
claims against defendants in their supervisory capacities.
However, as noted above, plaintiff cannot recover based on
vicarious liability alone. Rather, he must demonstrate that a
defendant's own conduct violated plaintiff's rights.
Harris, 489 U.S. at 185-90. Further, a supervisor
will only be liable for the actions of his or her
subordinates if he or she participated in or directed the
alleged violations. Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040,
1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Plaintiff has not made such allegations
here. Because of this, plaintiff has not brought allegations
that properly state a claim for supervisory liability and has
not yet alleged personal participation. Therefore, the Court
declines to serve his complaint at this time.
plaintiff wishes to pursue this § 1983 action, he must
provide an amended complaint with a short, plain statement
explaining exactly what the named defendants did or
failed to do and how the actions violated plaintiff's
constitutional rights and caused him harm.
Instructions to Plaintiff and the Clerk
the deficiencies described above, the Court will not serve
plaintiff's complaint. If plaintiff intends to pursue a
§ 1983 civil rights action in this Court, he must file
an amended complaint and within the amended complaint, he
must write a short, plain statement telling the Court: (1)
the constitutional right plaintiff believes was violated; (2)
the name or names of the person or persons who violated
the right; (3) exactly what each individual or
entity did or failed to do; (4) how the action or
inaction of each individual or entity is connected to the
violation of plaintiff's constitutional rights; and (5)
what specific injury plaintiff suffered because of the
individuals' conduct. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423
U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).
shall present the amended complaint on the form provided by
the Court. The amended complaint must be legibly rewritten or
retyped in its entirety, it should be an original and not a
copy, it should contain the same case number, and it may not
incorporate any part of the original complaint by reference.
The amended complaint will act as a complete substitute for
the original complaint, and not as a supplement. An amended
complaint supersedes the original complaint. Forsyth v.
Humana, Inc.,114 F.3d 1467, 1474 (9th Cir. 1997)
overruled in part on other grounds, Lacey v. Maricopa
County,693 F.3d 896 (9th Cir. 2012). Therefore, the
amended complaint must be complete in itself and all facts
and causes of action alleged in the original complaint that
are not alleged in the amended complaint are waived.
Forsyth, 114 F.3d at 1474. The Court will screen the
amended complaint to determine whether it contains ...