United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND COMPLAINT
Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge.
William James Mathew Wallace II, proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges his
constitutional rights were violated when he was denied
adequate medical treatment for his leg and access to
accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”). However, plaintiff has failed to name a
proper defendant with respect to his § 1983 claims and
has failed to state a claim under the ADA. Having reviewed
and screened plaintiff's complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, the Court declines to serve plaintiff's complaint
because plaintiff has yet to plead sufficient facts to
demonstrate that defendant violated his constitutional
rights. However, the Court provides plaintiff leave to file
an amended pleading by June 20, 2019, to cure the
deficiencies identified herein.
who is currently housed at the Los Angeles County Men's
Central Jail, alleges that while housed at Washington
Department of Corrections (“DOC”) facilities, he
received no medical treatment or accommodations for his leg.
Dkt. 11 at 5. Plaintiff was initially housed at Washington
Corrections Center (“WCC”) and then transferred
to Airway Heights Corrections Center (“AHCC”).
See Dkt. 11.
alleges that he broke his leg in 2017, and before surgery
could be completed, he was arrested and housed at the Pierce
County Jail. Dkt. 11 at 4. Plaintiff alleges that non-party
Naphcare, the medical provider at Pierce County Jail, was
negligent, and declared his leg was no longer broken.
Id. Plaintiff alleges non-party Naphcare ignored his
requests for treatment. Id.
alleges that he entered DOC custody on February 17, 2018 and
was approved for leg surgery on April 23, 2018. Id.
at 5. Plaintiff alleges that defendant DOC purposely delayed
treatment because he was near his release date. Id.
at 5, 12. Plaintiff alleges that he has severe pain and
limited mobility. Id. at 12. Plaintiff alleges that
he will never be able to walk normally again or be without
pain due to the delay in treatment. Id.
respect to his accommodations, plaintiff alleges that he did
not have access to handicapped showers for five months. Dkt.
11 at 5. Plaintiff alleges that he had to purchase his own
wheelchair because defendant DOC did not provide him with
one. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he was housed in an
upper bunk and a top tier, which caused him pain.
Id. at 7.
seeks $1 million in damages.
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).
Section 1983 Claims
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must sufficiently allege that: (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 step, a plaintiff must
allege facts showing how individually named defendants
caused, or personally participated in causing, the harm
alleged in the complaint. See Arnold v. IBM, 637
F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981).
names the DOC as the only defendant. Dkt. 11. Section 1983
applies to the actions of “persons” acting under
the color of state law. The DOC, as an arm of the state of
Washington, is not a “person” for purposes of a
§ 1983 civil rights action. See Will v. Michigan
Dep't. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 65, 71 (1989).
Additionally, there is no evidence that the state of
Washington has waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity in
federal courts. Therefore, the DOC is a state agency which
cannot be sued under § 1983.
Court notes that plaintiff's complaint alleges that he
was seen and treated by various nurses and physicians. Dkt.
11. However, plaintiff has failed to name these individuals
as defendants. If plaintiff wishes to pursue claims against
these individuals, or some other individual acting under
color of state law, then he must name them as defendants in
his amended complaint and allege facts sufficient to meet the
required elements of a claim under the Eighth Amendment.
See McGuckin v. Smith,974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir.
1991), overruled on other grounds by WMX Techs., Inc. v.
Miller,104 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) (An