(PC)Bealer v. Wilson, No. 1:2016cv00672 - Document 16 (E.D. Cal. 2017)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS Recommending Dismissal of 14 First Amended Complaint, with Prejudice, for Failure to State a Cognizable Claim for Relief signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 2/17/2017. Referred to Judge Dale A. Drozd. Objections to F&R due by 3/23/2017. (Sant Agata, S)
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ANTWOINE BEALER, 12 Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 WILSON, et al., 15 Defendant. 16 17 18 19 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 1:16-cv-00672-DAD-SAB (PC) FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF [ECF No. 14] Plaintiff Antwoine Bealer is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s first amended complaint, filed on September 22, 2016, 20 in response to the Court’s August 26, 2016, order dismissing the original complaint with leave to 21 amend. (ECF Nos. 1, 10, 14.) For the reasons explained below, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s first 22 amended complaint must be dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief 23 under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. 24 I. 25 SCREENING REQUIREMENT 26 The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 27 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The 28 Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally 1 1 “frivolous or malicious,” that “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,” or that “seeks 2 monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). 3 A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled 4 to relief. . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare 5 recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” 6 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 7 (2007)). Plaintiff must demonstrate that each named defendant personally participated in the 8 deprivation of his rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-677; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 9 1011, 1020-1021 (9th Cir. 2010). 10 Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings 11 liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now 12 higher, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted), and to survive 13 screening, Plaintiff’s claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow 14 the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 15 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer 16 possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely 17 consistent with’ a defendant’s liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 18 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969. 19 II. 20 COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS 21 Plaintiff names Wilson (senior hearing officer), as the sole Defendant in this action. Between 22 May and December 2014, when Plaintiff was in administrative segregation his canteen privileges were 23 denied, as discipline, for a rules violation. The food and supplements in Plaintiff’s cell were taken. 24 Plaintiff explained that he was on a controlled diet and by not maintaining it, serious health problems 25 could occur. Plaintiff contends there was no reason to take his food and supplements from his cell. 26 Plaintiff submits it is difficult to body build in prison and canteen items are within the limit of things 27 that can be purchased to achieve his body building. “It takes time, effort and dedication, a lot goes 28 into health muscle development, nutrition and rest, among other things. [A] sudden cease in growth 2 1 can shock the process, seize it and cause tissue fiber, never and other damage.” 2 prison and Defendant Wilson aware of the health risks of taking his food and supplements and denying 3 him the ability to continue his workout program. There was no legitimate penological interest served 4 by taking Plaintiff’s food that was in his cell. 5 III. 6 Plaintiff made the DISCUSSION 7 A. Cruel and Unusual Punishment 8 The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment protects prisoners 9 not only from inhumane methods of punishment but also from inhumane conditions of confinement. 10 Morgan v. Morgensen, 465 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 11 847 (1994) and Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981)) (quotation marks omitted). While 12 conditions of confinement may be, and often are, restrictive and harsh, they must not involve the 13 wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain. Morgan, 465 F.3d at 1045 (citing Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347) 14 (quotation marks omitted). Thus, conditions which are devoid of legitimate penological purpose or 15 contrary to evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society violate the 16 Eighth Amendment. Morgan, 465 F.3d at 1045 (quotation marks and citations omitted); Hope v. 17 Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 737 (2002); Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 346. 18 Prison officials have a duty to ensure that prisoners are provided adequate shelter, food, 19 clothing, sanitation, medical care, and personal safety, Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731 (9th Cir. 20 2000) (quotation marks and citations omitted), but not every injury that a prisoner sustains while in 21 prison represents a constitutional violation, Morgan, 465 F.3d at 1045 (quotation marks omitted). To 22 maintain an Eighth Amendment claim, a prisoner must show that prison officials were deliberately 23 indifferent to a substantial risk of harm to his health or safety. See, e.g., Farmer, 511 U.S. at 847; 24 Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144, 1150-51 (9th Cir. 2010); Foster v. Runnels, 554 F.3d 807, 812-14 25 (9th Cir. 2009); Morgan, 465 F.3d at 1045; Johnson, 217 F.3d at 731; Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 26 1128 (9th Cir. 1998). 27 28 Plaintiff fails to allege facts to demonstrate that objectively he suffered a sufficiently serious deprivation and that subjectively Defendant Wilson had a culpable state of mind in allowing or 3 1 causing the deprivation of the food/supplements to occur. There are simply insufficient allegations 2 that the food Plaintiff was provided was not adequate to maintain Plaintiff’s health. While Plaintiff 3 may have preferred to maintain his food and supplements from the canteen during his placement in 4 administrative segregation, there are insufficient allegations in the amended complaint that any serious 5 medical needs were at issue in connection with the alleged confiscation. The mere disruption and 6 interference with Plaintiff’s personal fitness goals is wholly insufficient to give rise to a claim under 7 the Eighth Amendment for deliberate indifference. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s first amended complaint 8 must be dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. 9 IV. 10 RECOMMENDATIONS 11 Plaintiff was previously notified of the applicable legal standards and the deficiencies in his 12 pleading, and despite guidance from the Court, Plaintiff’s first amended complaint is largely identical 13 to the original complaint. 14 complaint, the Court is persuaded that Plaintiff is unable to allege any additional facts that would 15 support a claim for cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and further 16 amendment would be futile. See Hartmann v. CDCR, 707 F.3d 1114, 1130 (9th Cir. 2013) (“A district 17 court may not deny leave to amend when amendment would be futile.”) Based on the nature of the 18 deficiencies at issue, the Court finds that further leave to amend is not warranted. Lopez v. Smith, 203 19 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th. Cir. 2000); Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446-1449 (9th Cir. 1987). Based upon the allegations in Plaintiff’s original and first amended 20 Accordingly, it is HEREBY RECOMMENDED that: 21 1. This action be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted; 23 2. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate this action. 24 These Findings and Recommendations will be submitted to the United States District Judge 22 and 25 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within thirty (30) days after 26 being served with these Findings and Recommendations, the parties may file written objections with 27 the Court. The document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and 28 Recommendations.” The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the specified time 4 1 may result in the waiver of rights on appeal. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 838-39 (9th Cir. 2 2014) (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)). 3 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 Dated: 6 February 17, 2017 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5