United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A(a)
Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge
the Court is Plaintiff Thad Thompson's First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”). ECF No. 10. Thompson alleges that
Defendants Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”)
Counselor Katherine Torres, Captain Paleka, Nurse Mike, Nolan
Uehara, Residency Department Supervisor John Doe (“John
Doe”), and Law Library Supervisor Jane Doe (“Jane
Doe”) violated his rights under the First and Eighth
Amendments regarding his placement in segregation in May
2017. He names Defendants in their individual and official
capacities and seeks damages and a transfer to the Federal
Detention Center - Honolulu.
following reasons, the FAC is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e) and 1915A(a) for failure to state a
plausible claim for relief, with limited leave to amend, as
filed the original Complaint and a motion for preliminary
injunction on July 7, 2017. ECF Nos. 1 & 3. He claimed
that Defendants Torres, Paleka, John Doe, Jane Doe, and
Kitchen Supervisor Jane Doe 2 violated his rights under the
First Amendment when they allegedly retaliated against him
for filing grievances and lawsuits, and under the Fourteenth
Amendment when they allegedly denied him due process during
the segregation determination and custody classification
August 2, 2017, the Court screened the Complaint and held
that, liberally construed and on the facts then alleged,
Thompson stated a retaliation claim against Torres, but
failed to state any other plausible claim for relief against
any other Defendant. See Order, ECF No. 9. The Court
accordingly dismissed the Complaint in part, denied the
motion for preliminary injunction, and granted Thompson leave
August 23, 2017, Thompson filed the FAC. ECF No. 10. Thompson
has abandoned his Fourteenth Amendment due process claims, as
well as his claims against Kitchen Supervisor Jane Doe. At
the same time, Thompson reasserts his First Amendment
retaliation claims, adds new claims under the Eighth
Amendment, and alleges all of these claims against all
Defendants, including newly added Defendants, Nurse Mike and
Nolan Uehara. Although Thompson states that he was charged
with three disciplinary violations between November 2016 and
March 2017, he confines his challenges asserted in the FAC to
the last two.
2, 2017, Uehara chaired Thompson's disciplinary
proceeding regarding the two most recent charges. Uehara
found Thompson guilty of both and sanctioned him to
thirty-day, concurrent periods of segregation for each.
Thompson alleges that Uehara denied his request to call
witnesses at the hearing.
15, 2017, Thompson was transferred to the High Special
Housing Unit (“HSHU”) to serve his sanctions.
Thompson says that he began to have
“access-to-courts” problems in another case
immediately upon his transfer to the HSHU, when he was
allegedly denied the right to store all of his legal papers
in his cell and sufficient writing supplies. Id.,
PageID #60. Thompson wrote Paleka four times between May 15
and 18, 2017, to complain and inform Paleka that he had a
lawsuit pending and required all of his legal documents. On
May 23, 2017, Thompson told Torres that he had filed
grievances and a lawsuit against her for failing to provide
him with writing supplies.
24, 2017, the court received and filed Thompson v.
Dep't of Public Safety, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00235
LEK-KSC (D. Haw. 2017), in which Thompson alleged Paleka,
Torres, and “ Marina Law Librarian, ” among
others, denied him access to the court by denying him
adequate writing supplies, photocopies, and access to legal
papers, and failed to adequately respond to his complaints
and grievances. See id. Although Thompson
acknowledges that Torres providing him with writing supplies
on or about June 2, 2017, manila envelopes continued to be
August 1, 2017, the district court dismissed Thompson's
action with prejudice for failure to state a plausible claim,
after granting Thompson two opportunities to amend his
pleadings. Id., ECF No. 23.
30, 2017, Thompson filed a separate suit against Uehara for
denying his request to call a witness at the May 2, 2017
disciplinary hearing. See Thompson v. Dep't of Public
Safety, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00250 DKW-KJM (D.
Haw. 2017). After providing notice and leave to amend, on
August 2, 2017, the Court dismissed this action with
prejudice as well for failure to state a plausible claim for
relief. Id., ECF No. 14.
May 15 and June 6, 2017, Thompson says that although Torres
admits to having given his law library requests to Jane Doe,
Jane Doe denied having received them on “multiple
occasions.” Jane Doe also claimed she was too busy to
make photocopies of his legal documents.
about June 4, 2017, the day before Thompson expected to be
released from disciplinary segregation,  Thompson inquired
whether he would be released early, because another inmate
had been released early. The guard allegedly told Thompson to
stop whining and to file a grievance if he was unhappy.
5, 2017, Torres gave Thompson written notice that he would
remain in administrative segregation pending a review of his
custody status. He says Torres smiled and made “googly
eyes” at him. FAC, ECF No. 10, PageID #62. Thompson was
later told that his custody classification status was under
review because he posed a “threat to security.”
Id. at PageID #63. Thompson says he submitted oral
and written requests for further explanation to Torres,
Paleka, and John Doe, but they either failed to respond or
6, 2017, Thompson was placed “on suicide watch.”
Id., PageID #64. While there, he told Nurse Mike
that HCF officials were mistreating and retaliating against
him for filing lawsuits and grievances. He alleges Nurse Mike
took personal offense at this statement. When Thompson
returned to the segregation unit, he asked Nurse Mike to
provide his “medical chopped diet” but received a
“Finger Food diet” instead. Id. Thompson
asked Nurse Mike to change this diet several times, but
alleges Nurse Mike told him to file a grievance.
says that he complained about his confinement in
administrative segregation to Paleka and Torres. He says that
administrative segregation lacks “programs, classes,
work-line jobs, t.v., [and] microwave, ” and has
“significantly less social activity, ” than
general population housing, which he suggests violates the
Eighth Amendment. FAC, ECF No. 10, PageID #65.
broadly alleges Defendants' actions and inactions
constitute retaliation and cruel and unusual punishment under
the First and Eighth Amendments.
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(e)(2) and 1915A(a).
Courts 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(e)(2) and 1915A(b).
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 must contain
more than “naked assertions, ” “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). 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
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Further, a claim upon
which the court can grant relief must have facial
plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
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).