United States District Court, D. Arizona
DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.
Plaintiff Mario Ansaldo Sanchez, who is confined in the Maricopa County Durango Jail, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint (Doc. 1) and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 2). The Court will grant the Application to Proceed and 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 not assess an initial partial filing fee. Id. The statutory filing 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). 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. 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). 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 Complaint, Plaintiff alleges three counts against Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, the Maricopa County Durango Jail, and the Maricopa County Towers Jail.
In Count One, Plaintiff alleges as follows: The housing in the Durango Jail is overcrowded and unsanitary. There is mold growing in the bathrooms, walls, sinks, and toilets. Lead paint is flaking in the bathroom area. The ceiling is "flaking off" due to water damage to the roof. The food is inedible because it is frozen or it is "missing altogether." The milk is sometimes expired and Plaintiff is sometimes not given fruit or jelly. There is no medical attention available for the "unsafe breathing environment." Plaintiff has been sick multiple times with sinus congestion, headaches, sore throat, and stomach problems.
In Count Two, Plaintiff alleges as follows: Plaintiff is housed with three to four other inmates in a cell for two men. There is mold and lead paint chipping in the bathroom area, walls, and ceiling. The paint is flaking from age and water corrosion. The water is "murky and unsanitary." Plaintiff smells animals "being burnt near [the] jail." Plaintiff suffers from breathing problems, chest pains, sinus congestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
In Count Three, Plaintiff alleges as follows: There is asbestos in the walls and ceilings and lead paint in the walls. Plaintiff suffers from poor breathing ...