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Cabrera v. Hubmer

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

August 25, 2017

FRED CABRERA, #A0114810, Plaintiff,


          Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge

         Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Fred Cabrera's prisoner civil rights Complaint. ECF No. 1. Cabrera is incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”) but complains of events that allegedly took place at the Oahu Community Correctional Center (“OCCC”). Cabrera claims that Defendants Benjamin Hubmer, “OCCC CO” (correctional officer), and OCCC Warden violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment during an alleged assault that occurred at OCCC on or about June 22, 2017. For the following reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED IN PART with leave granted to amend.

         I. CABRERA'S CLAIMS[1]

         Cabrera alleges that an unidentified OCCC CO ordered him to help move Hubmer, allegedly an OCCC “mental-health detainee, ” from one cell to another on June 22, 2017. Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #5. He claims that Hubmer struck him several times in the stomach and chest during this cell transfer, while COs Manuel Tavares and Sergeant Anderson stood nearby but failed to intervene.[2] Cabrera asserts that the OCCC Warden failed to properly train the unidentified OCCC CO. He alleges that Defendants acted with negligence and/or deliberate indifference to his safety when they failed to protect him from Hubmer's alleged assault, violating his rights under the Eighth Amendment. He seeks $1 million in damages.

         II. SCREENING

         Federal courts must screen all cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, or seek to proceed without prepayment of the civil filing fees. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b)(2) and 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims and dismiss those claims that are frivolous, 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. Id. at §§ 1915(b)(2) and 1915A(b).

         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). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Moreover, a plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         To determine whether a complaint states a claim for screening purposes, the court applies the same pleading standard from Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) Rule 8 as it would to evaluate a motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6). See Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998). The Court must decide whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quotations omitted). The task is context-specific and requires the Court “to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679.

         Pro se prisoners' pleadings must be liberally construed and given the benefit of any doubt. Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th Cir. 2013); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). “[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)). A plaintiff must identify specific facts supporting the existence of substantively plausible claims for relief. Johnson v. City of Shelby, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014) (per curiam) (citation omitted). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears possible that the plaintiff can correct the complaint's defects. 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), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 556 U.S. 1256 (2009); see also West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         A. Inmate Benjamin Hubmer is Dismissed

         Cabrera fails to allege any facts explaining how Hubmer, a fellow inmate, was acting under color of state law when he allegedly attacked Cabrera, and the court cannot plausibly infer this from the facts as alleged. Hubmer and the claims against him are DISMISSED without prejudice.

         B. Official Capacity ...

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