United States District Court, D. Arizona
STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, Sr., District Judge.
On March 28, 2013, Plaintiff Anthony Jackson, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis (ASPC-Lewis) in Buckeye, Arizona, filed a "Notice of Intention to File Tort Claim." On June 24, 2013, he filed a "Notice to Court, " in which he states that he made a mistake and "will be filing a 42 USC 1983 Civil Rights Complaint."
In a July 17, 2013 Order, the Court noted that Plaintiff had not paid the $350.00 filing fee or filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to either pay the filing fee or file a complete Application to Proceed. In addition, the Court construed the "Notice of Intention to File Tort Claim" as a "Complaint" and dismissed it because it was not filed on a court-approved form, as required by Local Rule of Civil Procedure 3.4. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint on a court-approved form.
On July 31, 2013, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In an October 28, 2013 Order, the Court granted the Application to Proceed, dismissed the First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim, and denied without prejudice the Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file a second amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.
On December 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 12). The Court will dismiss the Second Amended Complaint and this action.
I. 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 )).
II. Second Amended Complaint
In his one-count Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff sues the following Defendants, who are employed in the Barchey Unit at ASPC-Lewis: Deputy Warden Kimberly Currier, "S.S.U." Sergeants Kindall and King, Correctional Officer IV Baca, and Sergeants Grant and Hilbun.
Plaintiff alleges that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated. Plaintiff asserts that in August 2012, inmates attempted to extort him and another inmate and threatened them with bodily harm and death if they did not agree to help facilitate bringing contraband into the prison. Plaintiff claims that "[a]n attempt was made [by someone] to provide notice to Defendants [Kindall and King] through the inmate letter system" and to a nonparty by electronic mail, but "[n]o response was ever received from either of them" and they did not "call Plaintiff in." Plaintiff states that the inmates' threats escalated and he and the other inmate "came up with the idea to give the information to the visitation officer via letter to family." Plaintiff states that he was told by someone that "disciplinary action would be written and forward[ed] with documents to insure that the issue would be brought to the attention of appropriate staff, " but staff was also warned by someone that Plaintiff's life would be in danger if he remained on the unit. Plaintiff states that Defendant Currier failed to transfer Plaintiff to a different unit after she was "notified of such action."
Plaintiff also claims that he told prison staff that his life was in danger, they told him to return to a unit, and he informed them that he could not because he had "[do not house] issues" in that unit. Plaintiff contends that at that point, Defendants Baca, Grant, and Hilbun placed Plaintiff on report for refusing to house. Plaintiff also states that after he filed a lawsuit in January 2012, Defendant Baca again asked Plaintiff to return to the unit, Plaintiff stated that his life was in danger in that unit, and Defendant Baca again placed Plaintiff on report for refusing to house. Plaintiff states that he believes this was "out ...