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Floyd v. Ada County

United States District Court, D. Idaho

June 29, 2018

JAMES ALLEN FLOYD, Plaintiff,
v.
ADA COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          David C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge

         I. OVERVIEW

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint. Dkt. 30. The Motion is fully briefed and ripe for decision. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the parties have adequately presented the facts and legal arguments. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the motion without a hearing. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons outlined below, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On August 25, 2014, officers arrested Floyd and placed him in the Ada County Jail, located in Boise, Idaho. Floyd remained there for a little over a year.[1] Floyd asserts that he has a host of medical problems that Ada County officials failed to adequately address during his time at the Ada County Jail.

         On April 7, 2017, Floyd filed this lawsuit against Ada County, the Ada County Jail, the Ada County Sheriff, and a handful of staff members from both the Ada County Jail and the Sheriff's Department. On May 23, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Dkt. 4. Shortly thereafter, Floyd filed an Amended Complaint, rendering the first Motion to Dismiss moot. On June 16, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint. This Court granted the Motion on December 21, 2017. Dkt. 27.

         Floyd asserted six causes of action in his First Amended Complaint. Upon review, the Court found claims one, two, and four were time-barred. Accordingly, the Court dismissed those claims with prejudice. Id. The Court found claims three, five, and six, were not time-barred, but that Floyd had failed to allege sufficient facts to meet the Rule 8(a) pleading standard. Id. Accordingly, the Court dismissed those claims without prejudice and gave Floyd 30 days to file a Second Amended Complaint and set forth additional facts to support his claims. Id.

         On January 19, 2018, Floyd filed his Second Amended Complaint, reasserting the following three claims: (1) inadequate mental health care; (2) inadequate treatment of foot pain; and (3) inadequate treatment of a shoulder injury. Dkt. 29. On February 2, 2018, Defendants filed the pending Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 30. The Motion became ripe for decision on May 14, 2018.

         In this Motion, Defendants first ask the Court to dismiss the individual defendants who have been named as Defendants but against whom Floyd has not made any allegations. Floyd does not respond to this argument, so the Court will dismiss these Defendants without further analysis. Second, Defendants ask the Court to dismiss the three asserted claims because they do not constitute an Eighth Amendment claim against any individual Defendants or against any government entity.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Court set forth the legal standard regarding a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in its previous Memorandum Decision and Order granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint. Dkt. 27 at 3-4. The Court incorporates that standard here as if set forth in full. However, the Court reemphasizes that it must construe the Second Amended Complaint “liberally, ” as Floyd is proceeding pro se. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         A. The Applicable Law

         Floyd asserts all his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state a claim against an individual “under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). To state a claim against a government entity under § 1983 (also called a Monell claim), a plaintiff must allege “(1) that [the plaintiff] possessed a constitutional right of which he was deprived; (2) that the municipality had a policy; (3) that this policy amounts to deliberate indifference to the plaintiff's constitutional right; and, (4) that the policy is the moving force behind the constitutional violation.” Dougherty v. City of Covina, 654 F.3d 892, 900 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Plumeau v. Sch. Dist. No. 40 Cty. of Yamhill, 130 F.3d 432, 438 (9th Cir. 1997)). If Floyd fails to state a valid Eighth Amendment claim, he also fails to state a Monell claim because the first element of the Monell claim will not be satisfied.

         In his Second Amended Complaint, Floyd asserts Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment in three distinct ways. The Court has previously explained the background and standards governing Eighth Amendment claims. Dkt. 27 at 7-8. The Court incorporates that law here as if set forth in full. In short, an actionable Eighth Amendment claim for inadequate medical care must meet two elements. Colwell v. Bannister, 763 F.3d 1060, 1066 (9th Cir. 2014). First, the plaintiff must allege “the existence of a serious medical need.” Id. An objective standard applies to this element. Id. Second, the plaintiff must allege that a prison official was “deliberately indifferent.” Id. A subjective standard applies to this element. Id. “A prison official is deliberately indifferent” under this standard “only if the official ‘knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health and safety.'” Id. (quoting Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1057 (9th Cir. 2004)).

         B. ...


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