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Baker v. Grant

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 1, 2018

JAMALL BAKER, Plaintiff,
v.
JERALD GRANT, et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Mary Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action, is a state prisoner confined in the Special Offender Unit at Monroe Correctional Complex. He brings claims against Correctional Officer Jerald Grant, Correctional Sergeant Michael Clayton, and Unit Supervisor Jason Neely, in their individual and official capacities. (See Dkt. 12.)

         There are three motions currently before the Court: defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Dkt. 18); plaintiff's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint that names two additional defendants, Dr. Tanya Browne, plaintiff's psychologist, and Henry Abghari, plaintiff's therapist (Dkts. 24 & 24- 2); and plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction (Dkt. 31).

         Because plaintiff seeks leave to amend to “correct deficiencies in my complaint and to clarify unclear issues” (Dkt. 24-1 at 1), the Court recommends that defendants' motion to dismiss be GRANTED and that plaintiff's amended complaint be dismissed without prejudice.[1] In addition, for the reasons explained below, the Court recommends that plaintiff's motion for leave to amend be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, and that plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction be DENIED.

         II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff's proposed second amended complaint alleges the following. Plaintiff has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, paranoid personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. (Dkt. 24-2 at ¶¶ 2-3.) On countless occasions between 2014 and 2017, Officer Grant falsely announced to staff members that plaintiff has HIV/AIDS. (Id. at ¶¶ 24-25.) In April 2015, Officer Grant told an inmate that plaintiff was “HIV/AIDS positive” and a snitch from California who was in the witness protection program. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8.) Officer Grant spread similar rumors among inmates at other times, too. (Id. at ¶¶ 57-58.)

         Plaintiff asked Officer Grant to stop spreading rumors about him or he would litigate. (Id. at ¶¶ 32-33.) Officer Grant responded, “So what, you are a paranoid schizophrenic, a judge will never believe you over me. . . . I don't care, do something while you can.” (Id. at ¶¶ 33-34.) After plaintiff began to complain about Officer Grant's behavior, the officer told him that he would be transferred to another institution and away from his family if he continued to write grievances and file litigation regarding the alleged comments. (Id. at ¶¶ 10-13.) Officer Grant also instructed two inmates to threaten plaintiff with transfer if he continued to file grievances regarding the alleged comments and actions. (Id. at ¶ 14.)

         During the relevant time period, plaintiff spoke to Sergeant Clayton, who is Officer Grant's supervisor, numerous times regarding Officer Grant's behavior. (Id. at ¶¶ 43-44.) Sergeant Clayton is aware of plaintiff's mental health conditions but did not correct Officer Grant's behavior, telling plaintiff not to take Officer Grant's comments seriously. (Id. at ¶¶ 45-46.)

         Plaintiff also informed Dr. Browne and Mr. Abghari, who said they would discuss the issue with Officer Grant. (Id. at ¶¶ 26-29, 68-69, 72-73, 85.) When plaintiff followed up, Dr. Browne and Mr. Abghari assured him that they had spoken to Officer Grant and that Officer Grant would no longer exacerbate his mental health symptoms; however, Officer Grant's behavior only worsened. (Id. at ¶¶ 31-31; see also Id. at ¶¶ 38, 40.) Dr. Browne also failed to record plaintiff's complaints in his medical file, and both Dr. Browne and Mr. Abghari failed to take additional action to stop Officer Grant's behavior. (Id. at ¶¶ 70, 74, 86.)

         In February 2017, plaintiff requested and was granted a meeting with Sergeant Clayton, Officer Grant, and Officer Neely. (Id. at ¶¶ 50-51.) During the meeting, plaintiff and Officer Grant discussed the claims in this action; Sergeant Clayton and Officer Neely were completely quiet. (Id. at ¶¶ 52-53.) Officer Grant agreed to stop spreading rumors about plaintiff having HIV/AIDS and being in witness protection. (Id. at ¶¶ 54-56.) Officer Grant, however, did not stop. (Id. at ¶¶ 57-58.)

         On April 7, 2017, Officer Neely placed plaintiff in administrative segregation because plaintiff filed a personal restraint petition about Officer Grant. (Id. at ¶¶ 59, 61.) Officer Neely told plaintiff, “Since you like writing grievances and complaints, I'm sending you to the hole. Write your complaints from there.” (Id. at ¶ 64.) Officer Neely fabricated another explanation to justify his actions. (Id. at ¶¶ 60, 62, 63.) While plaintiff was in administrative segregation, he lost his job in the inmate kitchen. (Id. at ¶ 65.)

         Plaintiff “suffered emotionally” as a result of Officer Grant's rumors regarding HIV/AIDS and the witness protection program. (Id. at ¶¶ 16, 19.) Officer Grant's threats made it very difficult for plaintiff to move forward with grievances and litigation against the officer. (Id. at ¶ 18.) Also as a result of Officer Grant's actions, plaintiff was placed in administrative segregation and lost his job in the inmate kitchen; ultimately, he was moved to a unit that houses more severe cases of mental illness. (Id. at ¶ 20.) Plaintiff also “broke down, ” losing approximately 40 pounds. (Id. at ¶ 42.) He also stopped spending time in the dayroom. (Id. at ¶ 75.)

         Plaintiff alleges that Officer Grant violated his First Amendment right to be free from retaliation, the Equal Protection Clause, the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). (Id. at ¶¶ 21-22, 35-39, 89-92.) He alleges that Officer Neely violated his rights under the First and Eighth Amendments. (Id. at ¶¶ 65, 95-96.) He alleges that Sergeant Clayton violated his rights under the Equal Protection Clause and the Eighth Amendment. (Id. at ¶¶ 48-49, 93-94.) Finally, he alleges that Dr. Browne and Mr. Abghari violated his Eighth Amendment rights and the ADA. (Id. at ¶¶ 80-81, 87-88, 97-100.)

         Plaintiff seeks monetary relief against Officer Grant, Sergeant Clayton, and Officer Neely. (Id. at 24.) He seeks declaratory relief against Dr. Browne and Mr. Abghari. (Id.)

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Section ...


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