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Tangee Renee Lazarus, #A1048661 v. Mark Patterson

October 13, 2011

TANGEE RENEE LAZARUS, #A1048661, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARK PATTERSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Oki Mollway Chief United States District Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT

Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Tangee Renee Lazarus's prisoner civil rights complaint.*fn1 Lazarus is incarcerated at the Women's Community Correctional Center ("WCCC"). Lazarus names WCCC Warden Mark Patterson in his individual and official capacities, alleging that, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, Patterson failed to protect her from being assaulted by another inmate.

The Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1). Lazarus is granted leave to amend the Complaint, if possible, to cure the deficiencies detailed below.

I. LAZURUS'S CLAIMS

Lazarus states that, on March 22, 2011, inmate Wendyann Canon assaulted her in the WCCC Ahiki B housing unit. Lazarus was taken to the WCCC medical unit and treated for her injuries. Following an investigation, Canon was found guilty of fighting, and Lazarus was cleared of any wrongdoing. Lazarus filed a grievance, claiming that the staff at WCCC was responsible for the assault because staff had not ensured that security cameras in the Ahiki B housing unit were operative. Lazarus's grievances were denied. Lazarus now asserts that, as the WCCC Warden, Patterson is liable for her injuries, having allegedly exhibited deliberate indifference to her safety by failing to maintain and repair the security cameras.

II. STATUTORY SCREENING

The court must screen all civil actions brought by prisoners that relate to prison conditions and/or seek redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if its claims are legally frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim on 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); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (c)(1).

A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for failure to state a claim for (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim, a pleading 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). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ----, ----, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "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. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 1951.

The court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, accept all allegations of material fact as true, and construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears at all possible that the plaintiff can correct the defects of his or her complaint. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).

III. DISCUSSION

"To sustain an action under section 1983, a plaintiff must show '(1) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; and (2) that the conduct deprived the plaintiff of a federal constitutional or statutory right.'" Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 987 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation ...


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