United States District Court, D. Arizona
DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.
On October 16, 2014, Plaintiff Oscar Amaro, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex ("ASPC")-Lewis, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In a November 7, 2014 order, the Court denied the deficient Application to Proceed and gave Plaintiff 30 days to pay the required fees or file a complete Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. On November 19, 2014, Plaintiff filed a second Application to Proceed. In a January 28, 2015 order, the Court denied the deficient Application to Proceed and gave Plaintiff 30 days to pay the required fees or file a complete Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. On March 5, 2015, Plaintiff filed a third Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In an April 27, 2015 order, the Court granted the Application to Proceed and dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the order.
On June 9, 2015, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint (Doc. 16). The Court will dismiss the First Amended Complaint with leave to amend.
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 )).
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 First Amended 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.
II. First Amended Complaint
In his one-count First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff sues Joseph M. Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff; Jane Doe, Classification Detention Officer at the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail; Deputy Graham, Detention Officer at the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail; and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO"). Plaintiff is seeking monetary damages.
Plaintiff asserts an Eight Amendment claim and alleges that he was assaulted on December 25, 2013. Plaintiff claims the assault was "caught on video" and he has a letter from MCSO confirming that he was assaulted. Plaintiff alleges that he requested to be housed in administrative segregation when he arrived to the Fourth Avenue Jail, but Defendant Jane Doe "failed to prevent serious harm to [him]." After he was assaulted, MCSO housed Plaintiff on the second floor of the Maricopa County Lower Buckeye Jail. Plaintiff claims that his request for administrative segregation was not taken seriously. As a result of the assault, Plaintiff suffered from an abdominal hernia, blurred vision, and chronic headaches. Plaintiff contends that housing him in "stressful conditions" is cruel and unusual punishment."
III. Failure to State a Claim
Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), conclusory and vague allegations will not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). Further, a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint ...