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Wahl v. Doe

United States District Court, D. Idaho

December 9, 2019

JASON A. WAHL, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN DOE, Corrections Officer at Idaho State Correctional Institution, Defendant.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER BY SCREENING JUDGE

          B. Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge

         The Clerk of Court conditionally filed Plaintiff Jason A. Wahl's Complaint as a result of Plaintiff's status as an inmate and in forma pauperis request. The Court now reviews the 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 an amended complaint if Plaintiff intends to proceed.

         1. Screening Requirement

         The 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) & 1915A(b).

         2. Pleading Standard

         A 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, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” 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).

         3. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction, currently incarcerated at Idaho State Correctional Center. At the time relevant to the events described in the Complaint, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.

         In September 2017, Plaintiff was placed in segregation after a weapon was found in his cell. An unidentified correctional officer, Defendant John Doe, escorted Plaintiff to segregation; Plaintiff was in restraints at the time. Defendant had Plaintiff walk to the back wall of the cell while Defendant placed a mattress in Plaintiff's cell, in the middle of the floor. Defendant then left Plaintiff's cell and ordered the door secured. Compl., Dkt. 1, at 2.

         Prison policy requires that correctional officers “immediately remove the restraints” once an inmate is secured in his cell. Defendant failed to do so. Plaintiff tried to get Defendant's attention to remove the restraints, but Defendant had already walked away. Id. Soon after, Defendant left the facility.

         Within minutes, the lights went out. Plaintiff tried to make his way to his bunk, but he tripped over the mattress Defendant had left in the cell. Plaintiff fell onto the concrete floor, sustaining a serious head injury. Id. at 1-2.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's conduct violated the United States Constitution. He seeks damages and declaratory relief.

         4. Discussion

         Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to proceed with the Complaint. The Court will, however, grant Plaintiff 28 days to amend the Complaint. Any amended ...


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