United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
Floydale Eckles, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed and screened
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court concludes Plaintiff has failed to
state a claim for which relief can be granted as to Defendant
Harrison Medical Center. Accordingly, the Court recommends
the Harrison Medical Center be dismissed.
who is housed at the Snohomish County Corrections Facility
(“Corrections Facility”), alleges his
constitutional rights were violated when his private medical
records were requested from Harrison Medical Center by
employees of the Washington State Department of Corrections.
Dkt. 18. Plaintiff contends Harrison Medical Center released
his records without his permission. Id.
14, 2017, the Court screened Plaintiff's Complaint and
found it was deficient. See Dkt. 5. The Court
ordered Plaintiff to correct the deficiencies by August 14,
2017. Id. Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint on
August 16, 2017. Dkt. 8. The Court screened the Amended
Complaint and determined Plaintiff had failed to state a
claim for which relief could be granted. Dkt. 10. The Court
notified Plaintiff of the deficiencies in the Amended
Complaint and directed Plaintiff to file a second amended
complaint on or before March 9, 2018. Id.; Dkt.
On February 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended
Complaint. Dkt. 18.
Failure to State a Claim
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). 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. 1981).
to state a claim for relief under § 1983, Plaintiff must
“plead that (1) the defendants acting under color of
state law (2) deprived [him] of rights secured by the
Constitution or federal statutes.” Gibson v. United
States, 781 F.2d 1334, 1338 (9th Cir. 1986). Here,
Plaintiff is suing the Harrison Medical Center. Dkt. 22.
Private hospitals are not state actors and cannot be sued
under § 1983. See Briley v. State of
California, 564 F.2d 849, 855-56 (9th Cir. 1977) (noting
the Ninth Circuit has consistently dismissed private
hospitals from § 1983 actions “for failing to come
within the color of state law requirement”); Rojas
v. Johnson, 2017 WL 4245728, *3 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 25,
2017). Plaintiff does not allege he was in custody when he
was treated by Harrison Medical Center or that Harrison
Medical Center contracted directly with the state or
municipality to provide medical services to Plaintiff.
Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to allege Harrison Medical
Center was acting under color of state law. Accordingly,
Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against Harrison
Leave to Amend
Ninth Circuit has “established that a pro se litigant
bringing a civil rights suit must have an opportunity to
amend the complaint to overcome deficiencies unless it is
clear that they cannot be overcome by amendment.”
Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1135-36 (9th Cir.
1987). The Court finds Plaintiff has failed to allege facts
sufficient to show Harrison Medical Center is liable under
§ 1983. The Court finds Plaintiff cannot overcome the
deficiencies of his claim against Harrison Medical Center.
Further, the Court previously notified Plaintiff that
Harrison Medical Center is not a “person” acting
under color of state law. See Dkt. 13. As Plaintiff
has been given leave to amend on two occasions and has been
instructed regarding the deficiencies of his claim against
Harrison Medical Center, the Court recommends Plaintiff not
be given leave to again amend the claim against Harrison
Medical Center. See Swearington v. California Dep't
of Corr. & Rehab., 624 F. App'x 956, 959 (9th
Cir. 2015) (finding the district court did not abuse its
discretion in dismissing without leave to amend because the
plaintiff did not cure the complaint's deficiencies
despite the district court's specific instructions about
how to do so); see also Fid. Fin. Corp. v. Fed. Home Loan
Bank of San Francisco, 792 F.2d 1432, 1438 (9th
Cir.1986) (“The district court's discretion to deny
leave to amend is particularly broad where the court has
already given the plaintiff an opportunity to amend his
above stated reasons, the undersigned recommends Harrison
Medical Center be dismissed without prejudice for failure to
state a claim. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), the parties shall have fourteen (14) days
from service of this Report to file written objections.
See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 6. Failure to file
objections will result in a waiver of those objections for
purposes of de novo review by the district judge.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Accommodating the