United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge.
Chad A. Stevens, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed and screened
Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the
Court finds Plaintiff has failed to state a claim but
provides Plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by July
11, 2018, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.
who is housed at the Pierce County Jail, alleges his
constitutional rights were violated when Defendant Puyallup
Police Department failed to protect Plaintiff from another
inmate and failed to provide Plaintiff with medical care
after he was assaulted by the inmate.
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).
Plaintiff names the Puyallup Police Department as the sole
defendant in this action. See Dkt. 5. Plaintiff
fails to state allege any wrong-doing by the Puyallup Police
Department. Plaintiff states he told the unnamed on-duty
officer at the Puyallup Police Department that another inmate
was having a mental health crisis. No. action was taken and
Plaintiff was assaulted by the inmate the next day. Plaintiff
states his right hand was fractured during the assault and he
did not receive treatment. He has also not received treatment
at Pierce County Jail.
does not identify any individuals as defendants or allege how
the Puyallup Police Department's actions violated his
constitutional rights. Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to
adequately explain what actions or inactions by the Puyallup
Police Department resulted the alleged constitutional
violations. Plaintiff's vague and conclusory allegations
are insufficient to show the Puyallup Police Department
personally participated in an alleged constitutional
violation. 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).
Plaintiff wishes to pursue this § 1983 action, he must
provide a short, plain statement naming individual defendants
and explaining exactly what each defendant did or failed to
do and how the actions violated Plaintiff's
constitutional rights and caused him harm.
Puyallup Police Department, is also not a proper legal entity
capable of being sued under §1983. Rather, the City of
Puyallup, a municipality, would be the proper defendant.
See Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690, (1978); Loomis v. City
of Puyallup Police Dept., 2005 WL 1036445, at *8 (W.D.
Wash. May 3, 2005). 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 policy; (3) the policy