United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN PART WITH LEAVE TO
DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiff Sione Finefeuiaki is a pretrial detainee
incarcerated at the Maui Community Correctional Center
(“MCCC”). Finefeuiaki claims that seven unidentified
MCCC “Staffs and Affiliates”
(“Defendants” or “MCCC Staff”)
violated his constitutional rights when they denied him safe
custody, housing, religious materials, mail, medical care,
and family contact. Compl., ECF. No. 1.
following reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED in part
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) &
1915A(a-b). Specifically, Finefeuiaki fails to state a claim
in Counts IV, V, and VI and those claims are DISMISSED
without prejudice. Finefeuiaki states a claim in Counts I-III
and VII, and those claims may be served when the appropriate
Defendants are identified.
may file an amended pleading that cures the deficiencies in
those claims dismissed without prejudice on or before August
27, 2018. In the alternative, Finefeuiaki may notify the
court in writing on or before August 27, 2018 that he elects
to stand on his claims in Counts I-III and VII, and after he
identifies the MCCC Staff members allegedly liable for these
claims, the court will direct service.
court is required to conduct a pre-Answer screening of
Finefeuiaki's pleadings pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). The court must dismiss
a complaint or claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim for relief, or seeks damages from defendants
who are immune from suit. See Lopez v. Smith, 203
F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing
§ 1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d
1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing § 1915A(b)).
under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b) involves the same
standard of review as that used under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d
1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012) (screening under §
1915(e)(2)); see also Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d
1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (screening under § 1915A(b)).
Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must “contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted); Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at 1121.
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
12(b)(6), in turn, is read in conjunction with Rule 8(a) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Zixiang Li v.
Kerry, 710 F.3d 995, 998-99 (9th Cir. 2013). Under Rule
8, 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). Rule 8 does not
require detailed factual allegations, but at a minimum, a
complaint must allege enough specific facts to provide both
“fair notice” of the particular claim being
asserted and “the grounds upon which [that claim]
rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 & n.3 (2007) (citation and quotation marks
omitted); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 555 (Rule 8
pleading standard “demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation”). The
“mere possibility of misconduct” falls short of
meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 555; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d
962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).
litigants' pleadings must be liberally construed, and all
doubts should be resolved in their favor. Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations
omitted). Leave to amend must be granted if it appears the
plaintiff can correct the defects in the complaint.
Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
plead that a defendant, while acting under color of state
law, caused a deprivation of the plaintiff's rights
created by federal law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988). An individual “causes” a
constitutional deprivation when he or she (1) “does an
affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative
acts, or omits to perform an act which [the individual] is
legally required to do that causes the deprivation”; or
(2) “set[s] in motion a series of acts by others which
the [individual] knows or reasonably should know would cause
others to inflict the constitutional injury.”
Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir.
1978) (citations omitted). Allegations regarding causation
“must be individualized and focus on the duties and
responsibilities of each individual defendant whose acts or
omissions are alleged to have caused a constitutional
deprivation.” Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628,
633 (9th Cir. 1988) (citations omitted).
Eleventh Amendment immunity
Eleventh Amendment bars suits for money damages in federal
court against a state, its agencies, and state officials
acting in their official capacities.” Aholelei v.
Dep't of Pub. Safety, 488 F.3d 1144, 1147 (9th Cir.
2007). Defendants named in their official capacities are
subject to suit under § 1983 only “for prospective
declaratory and injunctive relief . . . to enjoin an alleged
ongoing violation of federal law.” Oyama v. Univ.
of Haw., 2013 WL 1767710, at *7 (D. Haw. Apr. 23, 2013)
(quoting Wilbur v. Locke, 423 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th
Cir. 2005), abrogated on other grounds by Levin v.
Commerce Energy Inc., 560 U.S. 413 (2010)); see also
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58,
70-71 (1989) (“[A] suit against a state official in his
or her official capacity is not a suit against the official
but rather is a suit against the official's
office.”); Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123
Finefeuiaki seeks damages only and does not allege an ongoing
violation of state law, he fails to state a claim for damages
against MCCC Staff named in their official capacities. These
claims are DISMISSED with prejudice.
Counts I-III: Failure-to-Protect
March 29, 2018, at 10:15 p.m., unidentified
“backup” MCCC Staff prevented three inmates from
entering Finefeuiaki's cell during a lockdown and took
these inmates back to their own cell. Compl., ECF No. 1,
PagID #6 (Count I). When they asked Finefeuiaki if he was
okay, he replied, “No, ” without further
explanation. Id. They closed Finefeuiaki's cell
door. Five minutes later, the three inmates returned to
Finefeuiaki's cell and assaulted him. Finefeuiaki claims
that MCCC Staff had opened his door and allowed this to
happen. Finefeuiaki was knocked unconscious, his face and
upper body were bruised, and his previously fractured spine
was reinjured. He was taken immediately to a hospital.
returned from the hospital at approximately 3:00 a.m., on
March 30, 2018, and was rehoused in his original cell.
Finefeuiaki requested a cell within view of a security
camera, but was told that the door to the cell that he
requested was broken. See id., PageID #7 (Count II).
next morning, Finefeuiaki again asked to be moved to a
different cell several times, because he felt unsafe being
housed with convicted inmates when he was a pretrial
detainee. His requests were denied. At approximately 10:15
a.m., Finefeuiaki was attacked in the shower by a
“close custody and convicted inmate.”
Id., PageID #8 (Count III). MCCC Staff separated
them and took Finefeuiaki back to the ...