United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT IN PART AND
OKI MOLLWAY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is pro se Plaintiff Lacey Lee
Wheeler's first amended complaint (“FAC”)
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 1. Wheeler
claims that Maui Community Correctional Center
(“MCCC”) adult corrections officers
(“ACOs”) Sergeant Jared Tahon, Harley Dela-Cruz,
Clyde Tokunaga, and Travis Kamaka (collectively,
“Defendants”) used excessive force and
inappropriate language on or about March 15, 2017, and
thereafter denied her due process.
court has screened the FAC pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a) and finds that Wheeler states a
colorable claim for the use of excessive force against
Defendants Tahon, Dela-Cruz, Tokunaga, and Kamaka, and these
claim shall be served and require a response after service is
remaining claims fail to state a claim and are DISMISSED.
court must perform a pre-answer screening of the FAC pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Byrd
v. Phoenix Police Dep't, 885 F.3d 639, 641 (9th Cir.
2018). Claims 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)
(discussing § 1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson,
621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing §
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 v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2012). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Under Rule 8
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 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 a complaint must allege enough facts to provide
both “fair notice” of the claim asserted and
“the grounds upon which [that claim] rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 &
n.3 (2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted); see
also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 555.
se 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
allege: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws
of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged
violation was committed by a person acting under the color of
state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988). Additionally, a plaintiff must allege that she
suffered a specific injury as a result of a particular
defendant's conduct and an affirmative link between the
injury and the violation of his rights. See Monell v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo
v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).
and other MCCC inmates were out of their cells on March 15,
2017, because the air conditioning was malfunctioning.
Wheeler says that Defendant Sgt. Tahon swore at the inmates
and threatened to return them to their cells. This upset the
inmates, and two of them began to bully Wheeler. Wheeler
knocked on a window to get ACO Washington's assistance.
Defendants Tahon, Kamaka, Dela-Cruz, and Tokunaga then
entered the area and accused Wheeler of breaking the day room
door. They ordered Wheeler outside. Although she complied,
she says that they forcefully grabbed her, slammed her into
the sharp corner of a counter injuring her shins,
aggressively put her in a “hog tie” position, and
then applied agonizing pressure that hurt her previous
injuries. FAC, ECF No. 8, PageID #65. Wheeler claims that ACO
Dela-Cruz slammed her head repeatedly on the table.
says she was falsely accused of breaking the door, found
guilty of misconduct, moved to maximum security housing for
ten months, and charged $370.64 for replacement or repair of
the door a year after the incident occurred. Wheeler seeks
compensatory and punitive damages and a refund of $370.64.