United States District Court, D. Arizona
STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, District Judge.
Plaintiff Adam Narciso Garcia, who is confined in the Maricopa County Durango Jail, has filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1) and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 2). The Court will dismiss the Complaint with leave to amend.
I. Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Filing Fee
Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis will be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Plaintiff must pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $26.00. The remainder of the fee will be collected monthly in payments of 20% of the previous month's income credited to Plaintiff's trust account each time the amount in the account exceeds $10.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The Court will enter a separate Order requiring the appropriate government agency to collect and forward the fees according to the statutory formula.
II. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.
"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 681.
But as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has instructed, courts must "continue to construe pro se filings liberally." Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se prisoner] must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ( per curiam )).
If the Court determines that a pleading could be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) ( en banc ). The Court should not, however, advise the litigant how to cure the defects. This type of advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); see also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13 (declining to decide whether the court was required to inform a litigant of deficiencies). Plaintiff's Complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim, but because it may possibly be amended to state a claim, the Court will dismiss it with leave to amend.
In his three-count Complaint, Plaintiff sues Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office for alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the Durango Jail. He seeks damages.
Plaintiff alleges the following in Count I: The "air conditioning is on and cold no matter what [the] temperature is, " and the temperature is never above 69 degrees. Someone "will not turn on heat" and "will not give extra blankets" or clothes. There is "improper ventilation air exchange, " "staff infections, " and "multiple people with cold[s] in pods." Plaintiff is sick, "uncomfortable at all times, " suffers loss of sleep and "P.T.S."
In Count II, Plaintiff alleges the following: "They say there are (2500) calories served per day that is from 2005." Plaintiff requested measurement but received no response. "Most of the food is lost during transportation from building to building" and it is not edible. There are two meals a day, no drink at dinner, and the "mysterious meat  is very greasy." Plaintiff suffers from "malnutrition, no energy, loss of muscle mass, sick or getting sick, " weakness, headaches, "loss of proper vitamins and minerals, " and he is "not sure on long term effect."
In Count III, Plaintiff alleges the following: "all county jails across the U.S. have done away with 3 & 4 men cells"; "no room between bunks to move"; "fire hazard"; "64 men to two toilets, with no disinfectants"; and "64 men to two showers with no disinfectants." Someone has to "eat on bunk" and there are "not enough tables [and] chairs to eat." There are "over 40 men in holding tank when going to court" and "chains on our feet when were not guilty for an offense." Plaintiff has been injured by ...