United States District Court, D. Hawaii
GEORGE C.L. ROWAN, #A0221576, Plaintiff,
STATE OF HAWAII DEP'T OF PUBLIC SAFETY, Defendant.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge
the court is pro se Plaintiff George C.L. Rowan's
prisoner civil rights complaint. Rowan says that he is a
sentenced inmate who is incarcerated at the Oahu Community
Correctional Center (“OCCC”) with
“pretr[ia]l felons inmates due to mental Health
evaluation.” Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #1. Rowan does
not explain what his own classification status is, but he
apparently complains that he is housed with inmates who are
classified as medium security. See Id. He states,
“I am hereby among inmates that are modified with a
classification structure due to prison overcrowding.”
Id. Rowan asserts the State:
needs to establish the correct and immediate Polices and
Procedures to follow State and civil laws to run inmates by
there [sic] acorreding [sic] classification level with this
type of evaluation level it will prevent the constitute level
of threat to facilities modification structure and locally
state laws. With[i]n said this type of modification provide a
open game to a (petitioner) . . as myself to file a
civil and state, tort claim against the State and also the
D.P.S system of Hawaii for violating a (Delliberate
Indifferance) [sic]. . Policies and Procedures of D.P.S.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
proceeding in forma pauperis and who seek relief against a
governmental entity, officer, or employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). A prisoner's complaint, or any portion
thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from defendants who are
immune from such relief. Id.
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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as
true, courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted
inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted).
survive screening, a complaint requires facially plausible,
sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably
infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quotation marks
omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962,
969 (9th Cir. 2009). 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, 572 F.3d at 969.
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).
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). A plaintiff must also allege that he 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, 692 (1978); Rizzo v.
Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).
complaint is nearly incomprehensible. He names only the
State, he identifies no basis for this Court's
jurisdiction, he asserts no coherent statement of facts in
support of any claims, he fails to explain what injury he has
suffered or link a Defendant to that injury, and he fails to
assert any prayer for relief. Rowan's complaint is
therefore DISMISSED for his failure to state a cognizable
claim for relief, with leave granted to amend. The Court
provides the following legal standards to enable Rowan to
amend his pleading.
is notified that the State, its agencies, and state officials
are immune from suit for damages in federal court.
Aholelei v. Dep't of Pub. Safety, 488 F.3d 1144,
1147 (9th Cir. 2007). Further, “prospective declaratory
and injunctive relief” is available under § 1983
only “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
convicted prisoner, Rowan's claims arise under the Eighth
Amendment, which protects convicted prisoners from inhumane
methods of punishment and conditions of confinement.
Morgan v. Morgensen, 465 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir.
2006). The Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and
unusual punishment imposes on prison officials a duty to
“take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of
the inmates.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
832 (1991) (quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517,
526-27 (1984)). “[T]he appropriate inquiry when an
inmate alleges that prison officials failed to attend to
serious medical needs ...