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Clayton Robert Adams v. Cca; Phillip Valdez

July 18, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge


The Clerk of Court conditionally filed Plaintiff's Complaint as a result of his status as an inmate and his in forma pauperis request. The Court now reviews the Complaint to determine whether any of the claims should be summarily dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A. Having reviewed the record, and otherwise being fully informed, the Court enters the following Order.


To file a civil complaint in federal court, a litigant must either pay the filing fee in full at the time of filing or seek in forma pauperis status, which allows the litigant to pay the filing fee over time. In either case, the litigant must pay the full filing fee for having filed the complaint, regardless of whether that person's case is eventually dismissed or is unsuccessful.

Plaintiff has requested in forma pauperis status. In his Affidavit, Plaintiff states that he receives approximately $100 a month from family, which would equal approximately $1,200 per year. (Dkt. 4.) His prison trust account shows income of approximately twice that amount: $1,185.00 in gifts and $14.30 in prison employment income in the six-month period between October 2010 and April 2011. (Dkt. 5.) Because all of Plaintiff's basic needs are paid for by the State during incarceration, it appears that Plaintiff has sufficient funds to afford the costs of litigation.

Based upon all of the foregoing, the Court will deny Plaintiff's Motion. Plaintiff will be required to pay the $350.00 filing fee to the Clerk of Court no later than 150 days after entry of this Order, or his case will be dismissed without prejudice. The fee may be paid in increments.

Plaintiff will be responsible for obtaining summonses for service of process upon Defendants. Plaintiff shall serve Defendants within 120 days after entry of this Order, or claims against unserved Defendants will be dismissed without prejudice.


1. Standard of Law Governing Review of Inmate Complaints

The Court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A. The Court must dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.

Plaintiff brings Fourth Amendment claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the civil rights statute. To state a valid claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege a violation of rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal statute proximately caused by the conduct of a person acting under color of state law. Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). In Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989), the court outlined the requirements for a finding of proximate causation:

Liability under section 1983 arises only upon a showing of personal participation by the defendant. Fayle v. Stapley, 607 F.2d 858, 862 (9th Cir. 1979). A supervisor is only liable for constitutional violations of his subordinates if the supervisor participated in or directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them. There is no respondeat superior liability under section 1983.

Therefore, Plaintiff must link each Defendant to the specific action he alleges is unconstitutional or violates state law. In addition, Plaintiff may seek injunctive relief from officials who have direct responsibility in the area in which Plaintiff seeks relief. See Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 157-58 (1908); Rounds v. Or. State Bd. of Higher Educ., 166 F.3d 1032, 1036 (9th Cir. 1999).

2. Factual Allegations

The gravamen of Plaintiff's Complaint is that Warden Valdez revealed information about Plaintiff's prison psychiatric care to Plaintiff's mother, Laurie Adams, without Plaintiff's consent. On May 15, 2009, Plaintiff's mother visited Plaintiff at the prison. (Affidavit of Laurie Adams, Dkt. 1-2.) She noticed that Plaintiff looked and behaved very out of the ordinary, observing that Plaintiff "chose to be very secretive and would not tell me anything." (Id.) Plaintiff's mother was "terribly worried" and had "no confidence that the prison would do what was best for his good health." (Id.)

On May 18, 2009, Plaintiff's mother wrote the following letter to Defendant Warden Phillip Valdez:

Dear Warden Valdez,

I'm writing in regards to my son, Clayton Adams. I was in to visit him last Friday, May 15, 2009, and was very concerned about his behavior. I know Clayton is being medicated right now by your doctor and it is painfully obvious that the medication is not doing anything good for Clayton. He was very agitated, his emotions were all over the place, he seemed extremely tired at one point and he was having a difficult time focusing. His skin looked excessively dry and he's very thin. I am gravely concerned about him. It is very hard to see Clayton like this and know that he needs help and that I cannot help him myself. Something needs to be done. He is not himself. The medication is not doing him or anyone else any good.

I know that you are very busy and have a lot to do, but I would very much appreciate it if you would look into this matter.

I have also sent a letter to Medical; however, I do not know the name of the doctor treating my son. I hope you will make sure that the doctor knows of my ...

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