United States District Court, D. Arizona
S, WLLLETT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
has consented to the exercise of Magistrate Judge
jurisdiction. (Doc. 7). Pending before the Court is
Plaintiff’s Application to Proceed in District Court
without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. 2). For good cause
shown, the Application is granted, and Plaintiff is allowed
to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court, however,
must screen the Complaint (Doc. 1) before it is allowed to be
served. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). As the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals has explained, “section 1915(e) not
only permits but requires a district court to dismiss an
in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a
claim.” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127
(9th Cir. 2000).
Statutory Screening of In Forma Pauperis Complaint
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
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.
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 litigant] ‘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)).
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).
Conditions of Confinement Claim
prevail in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must
show that (1) acts by the defendant (2) under color of state
law (3) deprived her of federal rights, privileges or
immunities and (4) caused her 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 she
suffered a specific injury as a result of the conduct of a
particular defendant, and she must allege an affirmative link
between the injury and the conduct of that defendant.
Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).
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 may not supply
essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.
appears to be seeking relief for allegedly unconstitutional
conditions of confinement. A pretrial detainee’s claim
for unconstitutional conditions of confinement arises from
the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause rather
than from the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against
cruel and unusual punishment. Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 535 n.16 (1979). Nevertheless, the same standards
are applied, requiring proof that the defendant acted with
“deliberate indifference.” See Frost v.
Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 1128 (9th Cir. 1998).
indifference” is a higher standard than negligence or
lack of ordinary due care for the prisoner’s health or
safety. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835 (1994).
To state a claim of deliberate indifference, plaintiff must
meet a two-part test. First, the alleged constitutional
deprivation must objectively be “sufficiently
serious”; that is, the official’s act or omission
must result in the denial of “the minimal civilized
measure of life’s necessities.” Id. at
834 (citations omitted). Second, the prison official must
have a “sufficiently culpable state of mind”;
that is, “the official must be both aware of facts from
which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of
serious harm exists, and he must also draw that
inference.” Id. at 837 (emphasis added).
“The circumstances, nature, and duration of a
deprivation of  necessities must be considered in
determining whether a constitutional violation has
occurred.” Hearns v. Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036,
1042 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Johnson v. Lewis, 217
F.3d 726, 731 (9th Cir. 2000)).
of overcrowding, without more, do not state a claim under the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. See Hoptowit v.
Ray, 682 F.2d 1237, 1248-49 (9th Cir. 1982),
abrogated on other grounds by Sandin v. Conner, 515
U.S. 472 (1995). A plaintiff may, however, state a cognizable
claim where she alleges that overcrowding results in some
unconstitutional condition. See, e.g., Akao v.
Shimoda, 832 F.2d 119, 120 (9th Cir. 1987) (reversing
district court’s dismissal of claim that overcrowding
caused increased stress, tension and communicable disease
among inmate population); see also Toussaint v.
Yockey, 722 F.2d 1490, 1492 (9th ...