United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND COMPLAINT
Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge.
Joseph Rhodes, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis (Dkts. 4, 5), brings this case under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The District Court has referred the matter to
the undersigned. See Dkt. 2.
seeks to hold a corrections officer and various state and
municipal entities liable for an incident in which the
corrections officer allegedly disciplined plaintiff without
cause. 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 defendants violated his
constitutional rights. In particular, although plaintiff
asserts that his claim is for “racial discrimination,
” plaintiff fails to allege that his race motivated the
corrections officer's behavior and with respect to his
claim about being transferred out of medical overflow, to
identify a group of others who were similarly situated in all
respects except race but treated differently. He also fails
to allege a municipal custom or policy that led to his injury
or to otherwise specify the constitutional or statutory
rights that he claims were violated. The Court provides
plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by July
5, 2019, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.
who is incarcerated at the Washington Corrections Center,
brings this action against the Clark County Jail, a
corrections officer at the Clark County Jail
(“defendant Hanks”), Clark County, the City of
Vancouver, and the State of Washington for “racial
discrimination, pain & suffering, mental anguish[, ] and
physical distress” based on events that occurred during
his custody in Clark County Jail. See Dkt. 5, at 4.
who is African-American, alleges that on December 17, 2018,
he had a “heated conversation” with another
prisoner in the medical overflow unit and that the other
prisoner used racial epithets against plaintiff. Dkt. 5, at
6. Plaintiff, who suffers from back and wrist injuries,
alleges that after this encounter, defendant Hanks wrongly
determined that plaintiff was the instigator and disciplined
plaintiff-but not the other prisoner-by sending plaintiff to
the medical pod, where he was forced to sleep on the floor.
See Dkt. 5, at 7-8, 10. According to plaintiff,
although he could have returned to the medical overflow unit
the next day, defendant Hanks intervened and “got
[plaintiff] cleared to leave” the medical overflow
unit, without plaintiff first seeing a doctor. See
Dkt. 5, at 8-9.
alleges that these actions constituted violations of his
“constitutional, ” “civil, ”
“Equal Opportunity, ” and “health and
disability” rights. Dkt. 5, at 9. Plaintiff alleges
that he filed a grievance but has been unable to obtain a
copy of his final grievance. See Dkt. 5, at 5.
the PLRA, 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.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(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 the following: (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 Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355
(9th Cir. 1981).
these principles, plaintiff's complaint suffers from
deficiencies requiring dismissal of some claims if not
corrected in an amended complaint, as set forth below.
Racial Discrimination Claim Against Defendant Hanks
appears to allege that defendant Hanks discriminated against
plaintiff on the basis of his race by wrongly disciplining
plaintiff, who is African-American, rather than the other
prisoner, who is not African-American, as the instigator of
the “heated encounter” in the medical overflow
unit and by having plaintiff ...