United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
W. CHRISTEL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MonJae Nykyle Haynesworth, proceeding pro se, 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 May 9, 2019, to cure the deficiencies
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Pierce County Jail
(“the Jail”) violated Plaintiff's
constitutional rights by restricting his visitation and
telephone access. Dkt. 4.
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).
Failure to State a Claim
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).
Complaint, Plaintiff states he has been on phone restrictions
since October 3, 2017 and has been unable to contact his
family to arrange for visitations. Dkt. 4, p. 3. Plaintiff
names the Jail as the sole defendant in this action.
See Dkt. 4. Plaintiff does not identify any
individuals in the Complaint and fails to allege any
wrong-doing by the Jail or allege how, specifically, the
Jail's actions violated his constitutional rights.
Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to adequately explain what
actions or inactions by the Jail resulted in an alleged
constitutional violation. Plaintiff's vague and
conclusory allegations are insufficient to show the Jail
violated his constitutional rights. 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.
the Jail, is also not a legal entity capable of being sued
under § 1983. Rather, Pierce County, a municipality,
would be the proper defendant. See Monell v. New York
City Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690, 98
S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978); Wright v. Clark County
Sheriff's Office, 2016 WL 1643988, *2 (W.D. Wash.
April 26, 2016). 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 amounts to
deliberate indifference to a plaintiff's constitutional
rights; and (4) the policy is the moving force behind the
constitutional violation. See Oviatt v. Pearce, 954
F.3d 1470, 1474 (9th Cir. 1992).
has not named Pierce County as a defendant and has also not
alleged facts to show Pierce County is liable. See
Dkt. 4. If Plaintiff seeks to sue Pierce County, he must name
Pierce County as a defendant and allege facts sufficient to
meet the required elements of a claim ...