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Williams v. Cisneros

United States District Court, D. Arizona

June 9, 2015

Berry Williams, Plaintiff,
v.
Unknown Cisneros, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

DAVID G. CAMPBELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

On October 8, 2014, Plaintiff Berry Williams, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex -Yuma in San Luis, Arizona, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In a January 14, 2015 Order, the Court granted the Application to Proceed and dismissed the Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On March 13, 2015, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint. In an April 24, 2015 Order, the Court dismissed the First Amended Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file a second amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On May 14, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 11). 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 Arizona Department of Corrections (“ADOC”) and ADOC Correctional Officers Unknown Cisneros, Unknown Badsted, and Unknown Reigie. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.

Plaintiff asserts a failure to protect claim and alleges the following facts: On November 22, 2013, Defendants Cisneros, Badsted, and Reigie were working in the maximum security housing unit where Plaintiff was housed. Defendants Cisneros, Badsted, and Reigie failed to follow procedure by moving unrestrained inmates outside of the cells and having more than one inmate out of a cell at a time. As a result of this failure to comply with procedure, Plaintiff was assaulted by another inmate identified as “Nobles.” Defendant Cisneros walked Plaintiff, who was unrestrained, to the shower. Defendants Reigie and Badsted failed to “act by not objecting to behavior [that] knowingly plac[ed], not only [Plaintiff], but any other officer at risk.” Defendant Badsted held Plaintiff outside of his cell while Defendant Cisneros led another unrestrained inmate past Plaintiff and “allowed [Nobles] to attack [Plaintiff].” Plaintiff claims that all of the “most violent offenders” are housed in maximum security housing, and that the inmates are not allowed any contact with other inmates. Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Cisneros failed to comply with “procedure” on three occasions, and that “her fellows . . . . turned a blind eye to policy” on those three occasions. Plaintiff contends that Defendants are “specifically trained to guard against” the risk involved when moving unrestrained inmates outside of the cells and having more than one inmate out of a cell at a time. Plaintiff further contends that ADOC is responsible for training its employees and ensuring that its employees act in compliance with that training. Plaintiff claims he has been injured as follows: he suffers from anxiety, pain in his leg and back, and takes a “plethora of medication in an attempt to cope with every[]day existence.” . . . .

III. Failure to State a Claim

To prevail in a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must show that (1) acts by the defendants (2) under color of state law (3) deprived him of federal rights, privileges or immunities and (4) caused him damage. Thornton v. City of St. Helens, 425 F.3d 1158, 1163-64 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Shoshone-Bannock Tribes v. Idaho Fish & Game Comm’n, 42 F.3d 1278, 1284 (9th Cir. 1994)). In addition, a plaintiff must allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of the conduct of a particular defendant and he ...


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