United States District Court, D. Idaho
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER BY SCREENING JUDGE
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge
Clerk of Court has conditionally filed Plaintiff Nikolai
Novack's Complaint because of his status as a prisoner
and request to proceed in forma pauperis. (Dkts. 3, 1.) A
“conditional filing” means that Plaintiff must
obtain authorization from the Court to proceed. All prisoner
and pauper complaints must be screened by the Court to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915 & 1915A. The Court must dismiss any
claims that state a frivolous or malicious claim, fail to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
reviewing the Complaint, the Court has determined that
Plaintiff will be permitted to proceed but will be required
to file a supplement to his Complaint to provide additional
facts to support his claims.
Standard of Law for Screening Complaints
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).
are required to state facts, and not just legal theories, in
a complaint. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009). In Iqbal, the Court made clear that
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. at 678. In other words, Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 8 “demands more than an
accusation.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). If the facts pleaded are “merely consistent
with a defendant's liability, ” the complaint has
not stated a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
brings his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the civil
rights statute. To state a claim under § 1983, 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.
treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions
under which the prisoner is confined are subject to scrutiny
under the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual
punishment. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832
(1994); Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731 (9th
Cir. 2000). The Eighth Amendment “embodies broad and
idealistic concepts of dignity, civilized standards,
humanity, and decency.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 102 (1976). While conditions of confinement may be
harsh and restrictive without being a violation of the Eighth
Amendment, they cross the line of acceptability when they (1)
involve “the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain,
” (2) are “grossly disproportionate to the
severity of the crime warranting imprisonment, ” (3)
result “in unquestioned and serious deprivation of
basic human needs, or (4) deny an inmate “the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities.”
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981).
conditions of confinement are challenged, a plaintiff must
make two showings. First, the plaintiff must make an
“objective” showing that the deprivation was
“sufficiently serious” to form the basis for an
Eighth Amendment violation. Johnson v. Lewis, 217
F.3d at 731.
the plaintiff must make a “subjective” showing
that the prison official acted “with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind.” Id. To establish an
official's deliberate indifference, an inmate must show
that (1) the officer was aware of the risk to the
prisoner's health or safety, and (2) the officer
deliberately disregarded that risk. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. at 837. To rebut the subjective
inquiry, prison officials may present evidence that they
reasonably responded to the risk. Id. at 844-45.
Mere negligence is not sufficient to establish deliberate
indifference; rather, the official's conduct must have
been wanton. Id. at 835.
officials have a duty to ensure that prisoners are provided
adequate shelter, food, clothing, sanitation, medical care
and personal safety. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
at 832; Keenan v. Hall, 83 F.3d 1083, 1098 (9th Cir.
1996); Hoptowit v. Ray, 682 F.2d 1237, 1246 (9th
Cir. 1982). “The circumstances, nature, and duration of
a deprivation of these necessities must be considered in
determining whether a constitutional violation has
occurred.” Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d at 731.
For example, the “‘more basic the need the
shorter the time it can be withheld.'” Id.
(quoting Hoptowit, 682 F.2d at 1259). Nonetheless,
temporary unconstitutional conditions of confinement do not
rise to the level of constitutional violations. See
Anderson v. County of Kern, 45 F.3d 1310 (9th Cir.
First Amendment Free Exercise Clause protects the right to
believe in a religion; it does not absolutely protect all
conduct associated with a religion. Cantwell v.
Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940). Inmates clearly retain
their free exercise of religion rights in prison.
O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 348
(1987). However, challenges to prison restrictions that are
alleged “to inhibit First Amendment interests must be
analyzed in terms of the legitimate policies and goals of the
corrections system, to whose custody and care the prisoner
has been committed in accordance with due process of
law.” Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners' Labor
Union, 433 U.S. 119, 125 (1977) (citation omitted).
courts must balance prisoners' First Amendment rights
against the goals of the correctional facility. Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979). Particularly, “when
a prison regulation impinges on inmates' constitutional
rights, the regulation is valid if it is reasonably related