United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court has reviewed the Report and Recommendation of the
Honorable Michelle L. Peterson, United States Magistrate
Judge, Plaintiff's Objections, and the balance of the
record. The Court concurs fully in the recommendations of the
Report and Recommendation.
February 29, 2019, Plaintiff Gabriel Eckard
(“Plaintiff”) brought this action against
Defendants Derek Walters, Breeann Caraway, Myron Ayala, and
Scott Simon (collectively “Defendants”) alleging
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. # 1-1. Plaintiff
also filed an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. On March 7, 2019, Judge Peterson granted the
application. Dkt. # 5. Defendants subsequently moved to
dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a
claim. Dkt. # 13. On July 3, 2019, Judge Peterson issued a
Report and Recommendation granting the motion to dismiss and
recommending that the Complaint be dismissed without
prejudice. Dkt. # 17. Plaintiff has filed Objections to Judge
Peterson's Report and Recommendation. Dkt. # 18.
Court agrees with Judge Peterson's well-reasoned Report
and Recommendation and finds no basis to divert from it.
Plaintiff is alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Dkt. # 6. To establish a claim under Section 1983, Plaintiff
must show that he suffered a violation of rights protected by
the Constitution or federal statute, and that the violation
was proximately caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Plaintiff asserts two bases for his 1983 claim:
(1) that he was subjected to an unreasonable search and
seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and (2) that
his Eighth Amendment rights were violated when he was kept in
a visiting cell for more than eight hours without access to a
toilet. Dkt. # 6 at ¶¶ 22, 23.
Plaintiff argues that Defendants' order that he submit to
a strip search violates his Fourth Amendment rights.
Plaintiff alleges that while he was housed in the Special
Offenders Unit he was removed from his cell for the purposes
of conducting a search. Dkt. # 6 at ¶¶ 8, 9.
According to Plaintiff, Defendants then ordered Plaintiff to
submit to a strip search. Id. at ¶ 11.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants informed him that he was
being searched for personal property. Though Plaintiff was
never actually searched, he maintains that the request
violates the Fourth Amendment. Id. at ¶ 22.
Michenfelder v. Sumner, the Ninth Circuit examined
the reasonableness of strip searches in the prison context.
860 F.2d 328 (9th Cir. 1988). There, the court held that
strip searches that are reasonably related to legitimate
penological interests do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
Id. at 331. The court also noted that great
deference must be given to prison officials' assessments
of their interests. Id. at 331 (citing Turner v.
Safley, 107 S.Ct. 2254, 2262 (1987)).
does not allege any facts to support his conclusory
allegation that Defendants' order that he submit to a
search lacked penological justification. Dkt. # 17 at 5.
Plaintiff relies heavily on the fact that a different member
of the corrections staff later returned him to his cell
without being searched, but this does not render
Defendants' actions unreasonable. Plaintiff's subjective
belief that the search was unjustified and unrelated to
legitimate penological interests, without more, is
insufficient to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
next argues that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment
rights when they left him in a visiting cell for over seven
hours, without access to a toilet, and he was
“forced” to urinate on the floor. Dkt. # 6 at
¶¶ 14-16. In order to establish an Eighth Amendment
violation, a prisoner must show that (1) the alleged
wrongdoing was objectively harmful enough: to establish a
constitutional violation, and (2) the prison official acted
with a sufficiently culpable state of mind. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). “To prevail on
a ‘conditions of confinement' claim, a plaintiff
must show serious deprivation and deliberate
indifference.” May v. Baldwin, 109 F.3d 557,
565 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal citation omitted).
Court agrees with Judge Peterson that Plaintiff's
allegation that he was temporarily placed in a cell without a
toilet, pending his compliance with corrections staff
directives is insufficient to state a plausible claim under
the Eighth Amendment. Dkt. # 17 at 7. Plaintiff's
allegations do not establish conditions sufficiently severe
and prolonged to constitute an Eighth Amendment
violation. Anderson v. County of Kern, 45 F.3d 1310,
1314 (9th Cir. 1995) (“[S]ubjection of a prisoner to
lack of sanitation that is severe or prolonged can constitute
an infliction of pain within the meaning of the Eighth
Amendment.”). Plaintiff does not allege that the
sanitary limitation imposed upon him was more than temporary.
Nor does Plaintiff allege that he informed corrections staff
that he needed to use the toilet and was denied. See
generally Dkt. # 6. Plaintiff's allegations, without
more, are insufficient to state a claim under the Eighth
Judge Peterson thoroughly and thoughtfully analyzed
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and articulated her reasons
for granting the Motion. Dkt. # 17. Plaintiff raises
essentially the same arguments before this Court as he did
before Judge Peterson. Dkt. # 18. These arguments are
unpersuasive and fail to address the fundamental flaws in
foregoing reasons, the Court adopts the Report and
Recommendation (Dkt. # 17) and DENIES
Plaintiff's Objections (Dkt. # 18). Plaintiff's
Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Within twenty-one (21) days from the date of this
Order, Plaintiff may file an amended complaint
addressing the deficiencies addressed above. If Plaintiff
does not file an amended complaint within that timeframe, or
if Plaintiff files an amended complaint that does not state a
cognizable claim for relief or is otherwise untenable under