The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Oki Mollway Chief United States District Judge
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915
Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Buddy P. Kamakeeaina's ("Plaintiff") prisoner civil rights complaint.*fn1
Plaintiff is a State of Hawaii prisoner incarcerated pursuant to a contract the State has with the federal government, at the Federal Detention Center, Honolulu ("FDC-Honolulu"). Plaintiff names as Defendants the City and County of Honolulu ("C&C") and Honolulu Police Department ("HPD") Officers Tyler Maalo, Nathan Patopoff, William Daubner, Oscar Willis, and Randall Rivera ("HPD Defendants"). Plaintiff also sues the State of Hawaii and numerous Department of Public Safety ("DPS") officials, specifically, DPS Director Jodie Maesaka-Hirata; DPS Health Care Administrator Wesley Mun; DPS medical providers--Tom Leland, M.D., Peter Yamamoto, M.D., Tulia Pula, and Malcolm Lee; and DPS grievance officers Linda Rivera and John/Jane Doe (collectively "DPS Defendants"). Plaintiff alleges that the HPD Defendants violated his civil rights during his arrest and while he was in HPD custody, and that DPS Defendants did so during his incarceration at the Oahu Community Correctional Center ("OCCC").
The Complaint is DISMISSED, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1), for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff is granted leave to amend the Complaint, if possible, to cure the deficiencies detailed below.
Plaintiff's Complaint is a disjointed, rambling, 88-page typewritten document, with 216 pages of exhibits. See ECF #1, Compl., Exs. 1-23. The Complaint can be roughly divided into two causes of action. Plaintiff first complains of incidents that allegedly occurred between around April 30, 2010, and May 3, 2010, during his arrest and while he was in HPD custody. Id. at 5-8. The remainder of Plaintiff's claims allege incidents that occurred after Plaintiff was transferred from HPD to DPS custody on May 3, 2010, and was detained at OCCC until April 19, 2011.
Id. at 8. Plaintiff does not assert claims arising after he was transferred to FDC-Honolulu, on or about April 20, 2011, except claims relating to DPS Defendants' handling of grievances he submitted thereafter regarding his treatment while at OCCC. Id. at 60.
Plaintiff's claims do not follow a coherent timeline and are replete with seemingly irrelevant facts. Plaintiff says he was arrested on April 30, 2010, and charged with two counts of assault and one count of abuse of a family or household member.*fn2
ECF #1, Compl. at 7. Plaintiff claims that, although he exhibited signs of mental instability and was extremely intoxicated during the events leading up to his arrest and thereafter, the HPD officers who arrested and detained him did not refer him for a mental health examination, allegedly violating section 334-59(a)(1) of Hawaii Revised Statutes.*fn3
Plaintiff also alleges that this violated his constitutional rights. Id. at 7-8.
Plaintiff complains that, after he was transferred to DPS custody, DPS Defendants Tom Leland, M.D., Peter Yamamoto, M.D., Tulia Pula, and Malcolm Lee failed to accurately document, diagnose, and treat his mental health issues. Plaintiff alleges that DPS Defendants Linda Rivera, Wesley Mun, and John/Jane Doe improperly processed his grievances. Plaintiff alleges that these DPS Defendants' actions violated various state laws and prison regulations, as well as the Hawaii and United States constitutions.
Finally, Plaintiff broadly alleges that the HPD, C&C, State of Hawaii, and DPS officials Maesaka-Hirata and Mun failed to adequately train or supervise their employees. Plaintiff asserts that all Defendants' conduct violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("RA"), 29 U.S.C.A. § 701 et seq.; various provisions of the Hawaii state constitution; state laws; and prison policies and procedures. Plaintiff does not identify what relief he seeks.
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. 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 for failure to state a claim when it (1) lacks a cognizable legal theory; or (2) sets forth 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, 556 U.S. 662, ----, 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.
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).
"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 omitted); see also West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
A. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although the Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Cmty. Redev. Agency of City of L.A., 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). "All that is required [by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)] is that the complaint gives 'the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the ground upon which it rests.'" Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting Datagate, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 941 F.2d 864, 870 (9th Cir. 1991)).
In addition, a complaint in which the facts relating to the claim are scattered throughout the complaint and not organized into a "short and plain statement of the claim" may be dismissed for failure to satisfy Rule 8(a). See Sparling v. Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 640 (9th Cir. 1988); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff's 88-page Complaint, with its more than 200-pages of exhibits, fails to comply with Rule 8. The Complaint's long list of alleged wrongs and overwhelming volume of background details give the court Plaintiff's factual premises. Plaintiff's claims, however, are rambling, difficult to decipher, repetitive, and fail to plainly and succinctly show that Defendants violated his constitutional or federal statutory rights, and that he is entitled to relief.
For example, Plaintiff fails to state clearly what federal constitutional wrongs each Defendant is alleged to have committed and the manner in which they wronged him. Plaintiff simply claims that Defendants' conduct violated prison regulations and state laws, then concludes that this conduct violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff fails to specify how Defendants displayed deliberate indifference to his mental health so as to violate his federal constitutional rights, or how they flouted the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Plaintiff also fails to allege what harm he suffered from the alleged delay or denial of mental health care. Plaintiff's Complaint simply fails to sufficiently assert the basis for this court's jurisdiction over his claims.
Further, Plaintiff repeats his claims against each Defendant, providing the same details and conclusions in numerous counts throughout his lengthy Complaint. Particularly confusing are Plaintiff's detailed accounts of his mental health history and treatment years before his 2010 arrest and incarceration, and information regarding treatment he has received since he left DPS custody. While these details may be important later, as evidence at trial or in response to dispositive motions, they do not provide clarity to his claims. Rather, Plaintiff's narrative obfuscates his claims.
In short, although Plaintiff's Complaint is replete with factual detail, those facts are confusing and insufficient to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombley, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The Complaint does not allow a determination as to who allegedly did what to Plaintiff, what his specific claims against each individual Defendant entail, what harm he suffered, and how his constitutional and federal statutory rights were violated. The court cannot conclude that Plaintiff's Complaint asserts a viable claim against any particular Defendant, and will not fashion a statement of what Plaintiff may or may not be alleging.
Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim under Rule 8. This dismissal is without prejudice and with leave granted to amend so that Plaintiff may decide whether and how to amend his claims in light of the court's discussion below.
B. Constitutional Violation ...