United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge
before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Dkt. 12). Having
reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the
facts and legal arguments are adequately presented and oral
argument is unnecessary. See Loc. Civ. R.
Lee Fair, a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department
of Correction (IDOC) filed this complaint against Defendants
Henry Atencio and Keith Yordy alleging that they, and other
unidentified correctional officers, failed to protect him
from an attack by another inmate while he was incarcerated at
the Idaho State Correctional Center (ISCC). Dkt. 3 at 6.
Complaint, Mr. Fair alleges that, until 2011, he “was
an active gang member of the prison gang ‘Severely
Violent Criminals'” (SVC). Dkt. 3, at 6. In 2011,
Plaintiff decided to change his life and dropped out of SVC.
At that time, the gang “placed an attack and/or kill
order out to it's [sic] members and other affilliants
[sic] known as a ‘Green Light' on Plaintiff.”
Id. As a result, Plaintiff was classified as a
protective custody inmate. While incarcerated at the Idaho
Correctional Institution in Orofino, Idaho (ICI-O), in 2016,
Plaintiff was attacked by two members of a different gang,
the Aryan Knights (AK). Plaintiff was later released from
was rearrested in August 2017 and held in the Ada County
Jail, where he was “attacked twice” because of
the “Green Light” placed on him by SVC gang
leaders. Id. “Plaintiff told his parole
officer and on-site officer that he had a Green Light by
S.V.C. and required” protective custody; Plaintiff told
these individuals that the AK and the Sureños XIII
(another prison gang) had also issued a Green Light to attack
Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff was later transferred to
IDOC custody and placed at ISCI.
states that he “gave notice to IDOC classification
staff, unit officers, case manager, and psychiatrist care
staff” of this Green Light and of Plaintiff's
“fear of attacks.” Id. at 7. Plaintiff
states that these individuals “did nothing to help
him.” Id. In February 2018, Plaintiff was
attacked in a foyer by another inmate while Plaintiff was
“trying to go to dinner, ” and was seriously
injured. Id. According to Plaintiff, this other
inmate was not housed in the area of the prison where the
attack took place and that, therefore, unidentified
correctional officers must have “let [the inmate]
in” to the area. Id. at 8. The attack
“continued for approximately nine minutes, while
medical staff were screaming for officers to intervien [sic],
but officers allowed this [to] continue.” Id.
claims that despite “the Balla injunction, ” the
inmate who attacked Plaintiff had been “housed on the
same unit and tier with Plaintiff.” Id. at 8.
Plaintiff also asserts that, before the attack, officers in
Plaintiff's housing unit “would walk [the other
inmate] passed [sic] Plaintiff's cell, and let [him] stop
at [Plaintiff's] door kicking it, yelling ‘Fuck You
Punk' and ‘Bitch Ass Rat, '” and that the
officers “would laugh and further encourage him.”
alleges that the named Defendants, as well as unidentified
individuals, violated his constitutional rights by failing to
protect him from the February 2018 attack.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, ” in order to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While a complaint
attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss “does not
need detailed factual allegations, ” it must set forth
“more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Id. at 555. To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. A claim
has facial plausibility 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. at 556. The plausibility standard is
not akin to a “probability requirement, ” but it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully. Id. Where a complaint pleads facts
that are “merely consistent with” a
defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line
between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to
relief.'” Id. at 557.
Supreme Court identified two “working principles”
that underlie Twombly in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). First, the court need not accept as true legal
conclusions that are couched as factual allegations.
Id. Rule 8 does not “unlock the doors of
discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than
conclusions.” Id. at 678-79. Second, to
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state a
plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679.
“Determining whether a complaint states a plausible
claim for relief will . . . be a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id.
dismissal without leave to amend is improper unless it is
beyond doubt that the complaint “could not be saved by
any amendment.” Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573
F.3d 728, 737 (9th Cir. 2009) (issued 2 months after Iqbal).
The Ninth Circuit has held that “in dismissals for
failure to state a claim, a district court should grant leave
to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made,
unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be
cured by the allegation of other facts.” Cook,
Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. v. Northern California Collection
Service, Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990). The
issue is not whether plaintiff will prevail but whether he
“is entitled to offer evidence to support the
claims.” Diaz v. Int'l Longshore and Warehouse
Union, Local 13, 474 F.3d 1202, 1205 (9th Cir.
brings claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the civil rights
statute. To state a plausible civil rights claim, a plaintiff
must allege a violation of rights protected by the
Constitution or created by federal statute proximately caused
by conduct of a person acting under color of state law.
Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir.
1991). To be liable under § 1983, “the defendant
must possess a purposeful, a knowing, or possibly a reckless
state of mind.” Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135
S.Ct. 2466, 2472 (2015). Negligence is not actionable under
§ 1983, because a negligent act by a public official is