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Jones v. Pierce County Jail

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

April 17, 2019

DASMON TAIWIAN JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
PIERCE COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          ORDER TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT

          David W. Christel, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Dasmon Taiwian Jones, 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 finds Plaintiff has failed to state a claim, but provides Plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by May 17, 2019, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.

         I. Background

         In the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his rights by denying him access to the telephone, requiring him to sleep on the floor, and housing him in solitary confinement. Dkt. 8.

         II. Discussion

         Under 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).

         A. Failure to State a Claim

         In 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 Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988); Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981).

         In the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he was denied access to the telephone and was forced to live in inhumane conditions. Dkt. 8, p. 3.[1] The Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, but neither does it permit inhumane prisons. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1970). Under the Eighth Amendment, prison officials are required to provide prisoners with basic life necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, medical care, and personal safety. Id.; Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.3d 1080, 1107 (9th Cir. 1986). To state a claim for unconstitutional conditions of confinement, a plaintiff must allege a defendant's acts or omissions deprived the inmate of “the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities” and the defendant acted with deliberate indifference to an excessive risk to inmate health or safety. Allen v. Sakai, 48 F.3d 1082, 1087 (9th Cir. 1994) (quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834); see Estate of Ford v. Ramirez-Palmer, 301 F.3d 1043, 1049-50 (9th Cir. 2002). A prison official does not act with deliberate indifference “unless the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837.

         Plaintiff alleges he has had no contact with his family, had to sleep on the floor, has been housed in solitary confinement, and has not had access to hot water. Dkt. 8. He states these conditions were not based on disciplinary actions. Id. Plaintiff, however, fails to allege any wrong-doing by Defendants or allege how, specifically, Defendants' actions violated his constitutional rights. Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to adequately explain what actions or inactions by Defendants resulted in the alleged constitutional violations.

         Plaintiff also states:

The prosecutor ask for these condition no phone contact with any one but my lawyer since my arrest 18 months ago. The judge granted these conditions. And Pierce County Jail and Sgt. Caruso enforced these conditions.

Dkt. 8, p. 3 (errors in original). Plaintiff fails to explain how Defendants' actions resulted in a violation of his constitutional rights. Rather, Plaintiff simply complains that he was placed on telephone restrictions. He does not allege facts sufficient to show Defendants' conduct violated his rights. Plaintiff's vague and conclusory allegations are insufficient to show Defendants 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).

         B. Improp ...


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