United States District Court, D. Hawaii
DAVID VERDEN WILLIAMS, JR., FED. REG. #99700-022, Plaintiff,
U.S. DEP'T OF JUSTICE, BOP WARDEN OF FDC HONOLULU, FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
Michael Seabright Chief United States District Judge.
the court is pro se Plaintiff David Verden Williams,
Jr.'s prisoner civil rights action brought pursuant to
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of
Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Williams alleges that
prison officials at the Federal Detention Center, Honolulu
(“FDC Honolulu”), including an unidentified
warden and psychologist, and Physician's Assistant
(“PA”) Ackley, violated his constitutional rights
regarding an incident that allegedly occurred more than five
years ago when Williams was incarcerated at FDC
pleadings, which encompass at least three serially-filed
documents,  fail to state a colorable claim for
relief and are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Williams is granted leave to amend
his claims to cure their deficiencies by submitting one
coherent pleading on the court's prisoner civil rights
complaint form on or before May 27, 2019.
court must conduct a pre-Answer screening of all pleadings
brought by a prisoner to the federal courts, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Claims or
complaints that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a
claim for relief, or seek damages from defendants who are
immune from suit must be dismissed. See Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc);
Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir.
under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a) involves the same
standard of review as that used under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d
1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012); Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680
F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012). 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).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. The “mere possibility of
misconduct” or an “unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation” falls short
of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. at
678-79; 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). The court must grant leave to amend if it appears
the plaintiff can correct the defects in the complaint,
Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130, but if a claim or complaint
cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal with prejudice is
appropriate. Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A.,
729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).
noted, Williams has filed at least three documents labeled as
the “Complaint” or “Amended complaint,
” as well as several other documents in which he
attempts to explain his claims. Reading these documents
together, the court discerns the following allegations:
Williams claims that, while he was confined at FDC Honolulu,
a psychologist negligently ordered a “tactical”
team to move him from a solitary, suicide watch cell to a
Special Housing Unit (“SHU”) cell. Williams was
housed with an inmate that he alleges was known to be
violent, who Williams alleges attacked him on or about
January 26, 2012, hitting Williams in the head thirty to
forty times when Williams refused to perform oral sex.
See ECF No. 19 (memorandum “Inmate
Disciplinary Record Indicating date of skull
fracture”). PA Ackley examined Williams after the
assault, took photographs, told Williams that he had
abrasions only, and did not order x-rays or an M.R.I.
alleges that his skull and nose were fractured during this
attack, causing brain damage and rendering him mentally
incompetent for the past five years. Williams says that he
has asked for x-rays repeatedly since the assault, but was
denied until PA Middleton at FCI Estill recently ordered an
x-ray of his skull. Williams states that he has not seen the
results of this x-ray.
claims that the FDC Honolulu Warden and psychologist violated
his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by
negligently moving him to the SHU where he was housed with a
violent inmate, and that PA Ackley provided inadequate
medical care by failing to order an x-ray to determine
whether Williams had skull and nose fractures.
says that he was unable to commence this suit or grieve this
incident within the past five years because he was mentally
incapacitated after the attack, but he is now “in the
process of exhausting [his] Administrative Remedies with the
BOP in relation to this claim.” ECF No. 1, PageID #2-3.
He says the FCI Estill Warden is currently reviewing his
first-step BP8 grievance, and that he will take his claims to
the BOP Regional and Central offices after the FCI Estill
Warden rules on the grievance.
seeks $20 million in compensatory and punitive
recognized for the first time an implied cause of action for
damages against federal actors in their individual capacity
for violating a plaintiff's civil rights that is
analogous to a suit brought against state actors under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. See Vega v. United States,
881 F.3d 1146, 1152 (9th Cir. 2018). To state a
Bivens claim for damages, a plaintiff must allege
facts showing that: (1) a right secured by the Constitution
or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) the
alleged deprivation was committed by a federal actor. Van
Strum v. Lawn, 940 F.2d 406, 409 (9th Cir. 1991).
vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and
§ 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676; see also Jones v. Cmty.
Redevelopment Agency of City of Los Angeles, 733 F.2d
646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984) (stating even pro se litigants must
“allege with at least some degree of particularity
overt acts which defendants engaged in” to state a
claim). Williams must allege “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, and describe personal acts
by each individual defendant that show a direct causal
connection to a violation of specific constitutional rights,
Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989).
Capacity Claims for Injunctive Relief
only names the U.S. Department of Justice
(“DOJ”), the Federal Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”), and the FDC Warden as Defendants in the
captions of his documents. But because he alleges claims
against the FDC psychologist and PA Ackley within his
pleadings, the court liberally construes the pleadings as
including the FDC psychologist and PA Ackley as Defendants.
See Yeseta v. Baima, 837 F.2d 380, 382-83 (9th Cir.
1988). Bivens provides a cause of action against
individual officers acting under color of federal
law who are alleged to have acted unconstitutionally.
Corr. Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 70
(2001); Solida v. McKelvey, 820 F.3d 1090, 1094 (9th
Cir. 2016). Williams cannot state colorable Bivens
claims against the DOJ or the BOP, and to the extent that he
names the FDC Honolulu Warden, psychologist, and PA Ackley in
their official capacities, these claims are DISMISSED with
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, pleadings must contain
a “short and plain statement” of the court's
jurisdiction that shows the plaintiff is entitled to relief,
and a demand for the relief sought. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Claims
must be set forth simply, concisely, and directly in a manner
that gives the defendant fair notice of the claims alleged.
See Rule 8(d)(1); Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, a complaint
must allege in specific terms how each named defendant is
involved and set forth an affirmative link between each
defendant's actions and the claimed deprivation. See