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Flores v. Pinal County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, D. Arizona

May 9, 2014

Jaime Flores, Plaintiff,
v.
Pinal County Sheriff's Office, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jaime Flores, who is confined the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis, filed a pro se Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in Pinal County Superior Court. On August 27, 2013, Defendants removed the action to this Court and paid the filing fee. In a November 26, 2013 Order, the Court dismissed the Complaint and gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On December 27, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Amended Complaint (Doc. 6). Defendants filed a Response and Plaintiff filed a Reply. On February 3, 2014, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10).

The Court will order grant the Motion for Extension of Time and accept the First Amended Complaint as timely filed. The Court will also order Defendant Agangan to answer the retaliation claim in the First Amended Complaint and will dismiss the remaining Defendants without prejudice....

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. First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff names the following Defendants in the First Amended Complaint: the Pinal County Sheriff's Office; Sergeants Slinendoll and Agangan; and Detention Officers N. Youssef and Young.

Plaintiff raises one claim for relief in which he alleges that on August 24, 2012, he was sexually assaulted during his sleep while confined in the Pinal County Detention Center. Plaintiff states that the next day his underwear was sent to a lab for processing and that "Pinal County Detention ignored [his] complaints of sexual assault." Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Agangan "retaliated against [him] for filing grievances (about being sexually assaulted and complaining of sexual assault) by putting [him] in the hole and writing a ticket for fighting [his] cellmate (the same one that raped [him])." Plaintiff claims that he complained about the sexual assault to Defendants Slinendoll, Agangan, Youssef, and Young.

Plaintiff seeks money ...


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