United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
W. Christel, United States Magistrate Judge.
Terry Lee Callandret, 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 May
17, 2019, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Department of
Corrections Headquarters Classification Team
(“Classification Team”) violated Plaintiff's
constitutional rights by failing to protect him. Dkt. 5.
Specifically, Plaintiff states he was attacked at the
Washington State Penitentiary (“WSP”).
Id. After the attack, the Classification Team
transferred Plaintiff to Clallam Bay Corrections Center
(“CBCC”) where Plaintiff was housed with members
of the same group that attacked him. Id.
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). 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). Sweeping conclusory allegations against an
official are insufficient to state a claim for relief.
Leer, 844 F.2d at 633.
Plaintiff alleges the Classification Team violated his Eighth
Amendment rights when it failed to protect him. Dkt. 5. The
Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to take reasonable
measures to guarantee the safety of prisoners. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). Prison officials have
a duty to protect prisoners from violence suffered at the
hands of other prisoners. Id. at 833. However, not
every injury suffered by a prisoner at the hands of another
is a violation of a prisoner's constitutional rights.
Id. at 834.
cases alleging an Eighth Amendment violation based on a
failure to prevent harm, the plaintiff must first meet an
objective component by showing “he is incarcerated
under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious
harm.” Id.; see Clouthier v. County of
Contra Costa, 591 F.3d 1232, 1242 (9th Cir. 2010). The
plaintiff must also meet a subjective component by showing
the prison official acted with deliberate indifference to
inmate health or safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834;
Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 33 (1993)
(“[A] claim that a prisoner's confinement
violate[s] the Eighth Amendment requires an inquiry into the
prison officials' state of mind.”). “[A]
prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth
Amendment . . . unless the official knows of and disregards
an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official
must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he
must also draw the inference.” Farmer, 511
U.S. at 832; see Wallis v. Baldwin, 70 F.3d 1074,
1077 (9th Cir. 1995). A prison “official's failure
to alleviate a significant risk he should have perceived but
did not, ” therefore, cannot “be condemned as the
infliction of punishment.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at
Complaint, Plaintiff states he was attacked and assaulted at
WSP by Mexican and White inmates. Dkt. 5, p. 3. Plaintiff
alleges the Classification Team misclassified Plaintiff and
transferred him to CBCC. Id. Plaintiff's life
was placed in danger when he was transferred to CBCC because
he was housed individuals from the same groups that attacked
him. Id. Plaintiff, however, fails to allege facts
showing the Classification Team was aware Plaintiff would be
placed in a dangerous situation if he was transferred to
CBCC. Therefore, Plaintiff has not shown the Classification
Team knew of a serious risk of harm to Plaintiff and acted
with deliberate indifference to the risk of harm.
Plaintiff's vague and conclusory allegations are
insufficient to show his constitutional rights were violated.
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). As such, Plaintiff has not stated a
claim upon which relief can be granted.
has also not named a proper defendant in this action. The
Classification Team is not a “person” for
purposes of a § 1983 civil rights action. See e.g.
Herrera v. Pain Management Committee at Corcoran State
Prison, 2012 WL 6005379, *2 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 30, 2012)
(finding a committee was not a proper defendant in a §
1983 action). If Plaintiff wishes to sue the members of the
Classification Team, he must identify each individual
committee member as a defendant and identify the actions
taken by each committee member which resulted in a violation
of his constitutional rights.
Instruction to Plaintiff and the Clerk
Plaintiff intends to pursue a § 1983 civil rights action
in this Court, he must file an amended complaint and within
the amended complaint, he must write a short, plain statement
telling the Court: (1) the constitutional right Plaintiff
believes was violated; (2) the name of the person who
violated the right; (3) exactly what the individual did or
failed to do; (4) how the action or inaction of the
individual is connected to the violation of Plaintiff's
constitutional rights; and (5) what specific injury Plaintiff
suffered because ...