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Staunton v. Harrington

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

August 9, 2019

LOUIS LEONA STAUNTON, JR., #A0110394, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT HARRINGTON, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(E)(2) AND 1915A(A)

          JAIL A. OTAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Louis Leona Staunton, Jr.'s, prisoner civil rights Complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Staunton alleges Defendants the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (“DPS”), Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”) Warden Scott Harrington, Saguaro Correctional Center (“SCC”) Warden Thomas, Core Civic of America, and Trans Core of America (collectively, “Defendants”), [1] violated his civil rights under the Eighth Amendment when he transferred from SCC to HCF.

         For the following reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a colorable claim for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Staunton may file an amended pleading on or before September 9, 2019.

         I. STATUTORY SCREENING

         The court must conduct a pre-Answer screening of all prisoner pleadings 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. 2010).

         Screening 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 Rosati v. Igbinoso, 791 F.3d 1037, 1039 (9th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). 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). A claim is “plausible” when the facts alleged in the complaint would support a reasonable inference that the plaintiff is entitled to relief from a specific defendant for specific misconduct. Id. at 678 (citation omitted).

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “requires only ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “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).

         To state a claim, a complaint must contain more than “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action”; it requires factual allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. “All that is required is that the complaint gives ‘the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the ground upon which it rests.'” Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1129 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting Datagate, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 941 F.2d 864, 870 (9th Cir. 1991)).

         Pro 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). 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).

         II. BACKGROUND [2]

         In Counts I-III Staunton checks “Threat to safety” and “Medical care, ” as the basis of his claims. Compl., ECF No. 1, at PageID #3, 5, 6. Staunton states:

Upon my return to Hawaii from CCA Correctional Facility in Arizona, while exiting the bus here at [HCF], I sustained a substantial fall.
Due to the flawed design in the seatbelt restraints my ankles became twisted and entangled. Unable to break my fall, and with no assistance from the nearest SORT team member, I fell face first unto the concrete surface.
I received a large gash above my right eye brow, numerous bruises and abrasions and ...

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