United States District Court, D. Idaho
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER BY SCREENING JUDGE
LYNN WINMILL U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Clerk of Court conditionally filed Plaintiff Nathan
Byerly’s Complaint as a result of Plaintiff’s
status as an inmate and in forma pauperis request. Plaintiff
has since filed an Amended Complaint. The Court now reviews
the Amended Complaint to determine whether it should be
summarily dismissed in whole or in part under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915 and 1915A. Having reviewed the record, and
otherwise being fully informed, the Court enters the
following Order directing Plaintiff to file a second amended
complaint if Plaintiff intends to proceed.
Court must review complaints filed by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity, as well as complaints
filed in forma pauperis, to determine whether summary
dismissal is appropriate. The Court must dismiss a complaint
or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious
claim, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)
complaint 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). A complaint fails to
state a claim for relief under Rule 8 if the factual
assertions in the complaint, taken as true, are insufficient
for the reviewing court plausibly “to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” 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 suffice.” Id. In other
words, although Rule 8 “does not require detailed
factual allegations, ... it demands more than an unadorned,
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). If the facts
pleaded are “merely consistent with a defendant’s
liability, ” or if there is an “obvious
alternative explanation” that would not result in
liability, the complaint has not stated a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face. Id. at 678, 682
(internal quotation marks omitted). And a court is not
required to comb through a plaintiff’s exhibits or
other filings to determine if the complaint states a
is a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of
Correction (“IDOC”), currently incarcerated at
the Idaho Maximum Security Institution (“IMSI”).
Plaintiff states that, in January 2018, he was transferred
from one Idaho prison to another without his property being
delivered in a timely manner. (Am. Compl., Dkt. 5, at 2.)
Plaintiff “made verbal and written requests for
delivery” of this property before “demanding to
speak with the shift commander.” (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges that a “staff force” then
entered Plaintiff’s cell and “utilize[d] force
and joint manipulation to assault and batter Plaintiff,
” stripped him naked, and placed him in a “hard
cell” without clothing or bedding and without access to
water or a toilet. (Id.) Plaintiff suffered injuries
in this incident, include sprained wrists and a sprained knee
that required a one-year medical treatment plan. Plaintiff
claims, without any factual support, that the Governor of the
State of Idaho “order[ed] and command[ed]” this
action by correctional officers. (Id.)
also alleges that, on November 2, 2018, he was “moved
by use of force” to IMSI. Plaintiff states that this
transfer “resulted in re-injury from injuries sustained
in an unnecessary assault a few months earlier.”
(Id. at 3.)
that month, Plaintiff was involved in an altercation with
Defendants Worthington and Mezo. According to Plaintiff, he
approached the property cart to retrieve some of his personal
property, when Worthington “responded with menace
toward the Plaintiff and attempt toward
seizure-arrest-restraint response.” (Id. at
4.) Plaintiff struck his head out toward Worthington,
allegedly in self-defense, after which Worthington and Mezo
used force to subdue Plaintiff. Worthington struck Plaintiff
in the head several times, while Mezo approached Plaintiff
from behind, called Plaintiff an “SOB, ” and
struck Plaintiff “in the face as he turned toward
Mezo.” (Id. at 4, 6.) Plaintiff struck Mezo in
the eye, and several additional correctional officers then
approached and restrained Plaintiff.
suffered injuries during the November 2018 altercation,
including nerve damage, torn or twisted joints, and a
concussion. (Id. at 7.) He was also criminally
charged for his conduct during that altercation, issued a
disciplinary offense report, and placed in segregation-with
its attendant property restrictions-for an undisclosed period
of time. (Id.)
has not alleged sufficient facts to proceed with the Amended
Complaint. The Court will, however, grant Plaintiff 28 days
to file a second amended complaint. Any second amended
complaint should take into consideration the following.
Section 1983 Claims
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
not an abuse of governmental power but merely a
“failure to measure up to the conduct of a reasonable
person.” Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327,
officials generally are not liable in their individual
capacities under § 1983 unless they personally
participated in the alleged constitutional violations.
Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989);
see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677 (“[E]ach
Government official, his or her title notwithstanding, is
only liable for his or her own misconduct.”). Section
1983 does not allow for recovery against an employer or
principal simply because an employee or agent committed
misconduct. Taylor, 880 F.2d at 1045.
defendant may be held liable as a supervisor under §
1983 ‘if there exists ... a sufficient causal
connection between the supervisor’s wrongful conduct
and the constitutional violation.’” Starr v.
Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989)).
A plaintiff can establish this causal connection by alleging
that a defendant (1) “set in motion a series of acts
by others”; (2) “knowingly refus[ed] to terminate
a series of acts by others, which [the supervisor] knew or
reasonably should have known would cause others to inflict a
constitutional injury”; (3) failed to act or improperly
acted in the training, supervision, or control of his
subordinates”; (4) “acquiesc[ed] in the
constitutional deprivation”; or (5) engag[ed] in
“conduct that showed a reckless or callous indifference
to the rights of others.” Id. at 1205-09.
plaintiff cannot simply restate these standards of law in a
complaint. Instead, a plaintiff must provide specific facts
supporting the elements of each claim and must allege facts
showing a causal link between each defendant and
Plaintiff’s injury or damage. Alleging “the mere
possibility of misconduct” is not enough.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff cites various constitutional and
statutory provisions with respect to his § 1983 claims.
However, his allegations appear to implicate only the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments.
Eighth Amendment Claims
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects
prisoners against cruel and unusual punishment. Although
prison conditions may be restrictive- even harsh-without
violating the Eighth Amendment, prison officials are required
to provide prisoners with adequate food, clothing, shelter,
sanitation, medical care, and personal safety. Rhodes v.
Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981); Hoptowit v.