United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable John Z. Boyle United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Amend. (Doc.
22.) For the reasons below, the Court will grant
Plaintiff's Motion and, after screening, allow Plaintiff
to proceed with his claims against Defendants.
October 28, 2015, Plaintiff, who is represented by counsel,
filed a Complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court. (Doc.
1-1 at 3.) Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint in that
court on February 22, 2016. (Id. at 14.) On March
22, 2016, Defendants Maricopa County, Arpaio, Wade,
Yelvington, Damato, Carlos Alanis, Canez, Rogers, Karas,
Miller, Townsend, Pendrick, Myers, and Hoyt, all represented
by the same counsel, paid the filing fee and filed a Notice
of Removal. (Doc. 1.) On March 24, 2016, Defendants filed a
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. (Doc. 3.) On
April 11, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Response to Motion to
Dismiss or In the Alternative Motion for Authority to Amend
Complaint, and on April 15, 2016, Defendants filed a Reply to
Plaintiff's Response. (Docs. 6, 7.) In a May 3, 2016
Order, the Court dismissed the First Amended Complaint for
failure to state a claim and denied as moot Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of
Time, and Plaintiff's Response. (Doc. 8.) The Court gave
Plaintiff 30 days to file a second amended complaint that
cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.
2, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint, naming
Arpaio, Carlos, John or Jane Doe Detention Officer 1, and
John or Jane Doe Supervisors 1-4 as Defendants. (Doc. 9.) On
June 16, 2016, Defendants Arpaio and Carlos filed an answer
to the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 10.) On August 2,
2016, the Court screened Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint and allowed Plaintiff's claims to proceed
against Defendant Carlos. (Doc. 13.) The Court further found
that Plaintiff had stated claims against John or Jane Doe
Supervisors 1-4, but the Court did not order service of these
unidentified Defendants. (Id.) The Court dismissed
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Arpaio and
Detention Officer John/Jane Doe 1 without prejudice.
September 8, 2016, the Court entered a Case Management Order
in this matter, setting December 7, 2016 as the deadline for
amending pleadings. (Doc. 20.) On December 4, 2016, Plaintiff
filed his Motion to Amend. (Doc. 22.) Rule 15 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the Court should
freely grant leave to amend “when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Further, the Court finds
that Plaintiff has sufficiently complied with Rule 15.1 of
the Local Rules of Civil Procedure. Therefore, the Court will
grant Plaintiff's Motion to Amend. Below, the Court
screens Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint.
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
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. §
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
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.
Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint
two-count Third Amended Complaint, Plaintiff sues the
following Defendants: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio,
Officer Carlos (Badge Number B2180), Detention Officers
Landon Hoyt (Badge Number B2127) and Michael Wade (Badge
Number B2679), Lt. Dan Karas (Badge Number A7994), and Shift
Commander Sgt. James Rogers (Badge Number A7913). Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages and fees and costs. In Count One,
Plaintiff asserts negligence claims. In Count Two, Plaintiff
asserts 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims for the violation of his
Fourteenth Amendment rights.
support of his claims, Plaintiff alleges the following facts:
Plaintiff had a disability requiring the use of a cane when
he entered the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail. Plaintiff
was issued a cane by medical because without one,
Plaintiff's knee would “give out[, ] causing him to
fall.” Pursuant to a medical order, Plaintiff was given
a lower bunk in a lower tier cell, and this assignment was
known by all Detention Officers, including Defendant Carlos.
visits take place on the second level, but some inmates are
housed in lower tier cells so that they do not have to
navigate the stairs for legal or other authorized visits.
When inmates housed in a lower tier cell get a visitor, they
can meet with the visitor without having to go upstairs if a
detention officer authorizes the lower level visit. To have a
visit on the lower level, a guard must transport the inmate
to and from the visit. A visit on the second level does not
require a ...