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Calloway v. Gill

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

December 4, 2019

Coleman E Calloway, Plaintiff,
v.
Jeremy Gill et al., Defendants.

          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND COMPLAINT

          J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Coleman E. Calloway, 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 pepper sprayed and placed in segregation after refusing to follow the directions of a corrections officer, defendant Gill. 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. However, the Court provides plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by January 4, 2020, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.

         BACKGROUND

         In his complaint, plaintiff, who is currently housed at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (“CRCC”), alleges that defendant Gill retaliated against him and used excessive force, and he was subjected to inhumane conditions of confinement. Dkt. 6.

         Plaintiff alleges that on November 11, 2017, defendant Gill announced a directive over the speaker system that plaintiff did not understand. Dkt. 6 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that he approached the officers' station and asked defendant Gill for clarification of the directive. Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill stated, “I do not want those offenders standing there watching the game.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that he responded by saying that “sex offenders cannot sit down and watch T.V. so could you give them a [break] and let them watch the game it's Thanksgiving!” Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill became aggravated which plaintiff assumed was because plaintiff didn't feel the same way towards sex offenders as defendant Gill. Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill accused plaintiff of being argumentative. Id. Plaintiff responded that he was not arguing and began to “retreat.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill demanded that plaintiff “cell up.” Id. Plaintiff asked defendant Gill what he had done wrong. Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill “aggressively” yelled “cell up or cuff up.” Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that he said “I don't know what is going on with you. But I want to talk with Sgt. Todd.” Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill then became “enraged” and started yelling, swearing, and cursing. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he ran away towards Sgt. Todd. Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Gill then attacked plaintiff by spraying him with pepper spray. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that he was placed in segregation where he was abused and degraded. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he was stripped down and sprayed with ice cold water which caused “serious burning.” Id. at 3-4. Plaintiff alleges that pepper spray got into his eyes and caused an ear ache. Id. at 4. Plaintiff alleges that he suffers psychological damage, has lived in fear for the last two years, and has become reclusive. Id.

         Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. Dkt. 6.

         DISCUSSION

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“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.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).

         In 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).

         Plaintiff's complaint does not sufficiently allege these claims, which will result in dismissal of his case if not corrected in an amended complaint.

         A. ...


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