United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AND ACTION
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(E)(2) AND
A. OTAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is pro se Plaintiff Louis Leona Staunton, Jr.'s
(“Staunton['s]”), second amended prisoner
civil rights complaint (“SAC”), ECF No. 7,
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Staunton alleges
that Defendants violated his civil rights during his
transfer from the Saguaro Correctional Center
(“SCC”), located in Arizona, to the Halawa
Correctional Facility (“HCF”), located in
Hawai‘i, when he fell exiting a TransCor bus.
following reasons, the SAC and this action are DISMISSED with
prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A(a), for Staunton's repeated failure to state a
colorable claim for relief.
Court is required to screen 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.
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 and citation
omitted). A claim is “plausible” when the facts
alleged in the complaint support a reasonable inference that
the plaintiff is entitled to relief from a specific defendant
for specific misconduct. See Id. (citation omitted).
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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (citation omitted). 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
(citations omitted); 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. See 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.
See Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130. If a claim or complaint
cannot be saved by amendment, however, dismissal with
prejudice is appropriate. See Sylvia Landfield Tr. v.
City of Los Angeles, 729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir.
originally alleged that his legs became entangled with a
poorly designed seat restraint when he exited a TransCor bus
on arrival at HCF after his transfer from SCC. See
Compl., ECF No. 1. He claimed that he was unable to break his
fall due to these allegedly faulty restraints and that he was
substantially injured. Staunton was immediately taken to the
Pali Momi Hospital emergency room and treated for his
injuries. He alleged that the restraints posed a foreseeable
threat to his safety and that he was denied appropriate
August 12, 2019, the Court dismissed Staunton's original
Complaint for his failure to state a colorable claim for
relief against any Defendant, with leave granted to amend.
See Order, ECF No. 4. Staunton was given directions
regarding the deficiencies in his claims and cautioned that
any amended pleading must “be complete in itself
without reference to any prior pleading.” Id.
September 5, 2019, Staunton filed the first amended complaint
(“FAC”). ECF No. 5. He again alleged that he fell
exiting a TransCor bus on arrival at HCF, “due to the
flawed design in the seatbelt restraints, ” and stated
that the guards failed to assist him down the steps, which he
alleged contributed to his injury. Id. at 12.
Staunton claimed that he was denied adequate medical care
after his fall because (1) Pali Momi's doctors would have
provided Percocet or Vicodin for pain relief, but the HCF
medical unit only provided Tylenol with codeine; and (2) a
“concussion protocol” was not followed, which
requires an MRI, CAT scan, or at a minimum, 24-hour
observation at a hospital. Id. at 21.
November 15, 2019, the Court dismissed the FAC for
Staunton's failure to state a colorable claim for relief
against any Defendant. See Order, ECF No. 6. The
Court dismissed with prejudice all claims against TransCor,
SCC Warden Todd Thomas, and HCF, official capacity claims for
damages against HCF Warden Scott Harrington, and claims for
prospective injunctive relief. All other claims were
dismissed with leave granted to amend. The Court again
explained the pleading deficiencies in Staunton's claims
and notified him that an amended pleading must stand on its
own without reference to a prior pleading.
December 16, 2019, Staunton filed the SAC. Staunton names
CoreCivic, TransCor, and DPS Mainland Branch administrator
Shari L. Kimoto (“Kimoto”) only, apparently
waiving his claims against all other previously named
defendants. See SAC, ECF No. 7 at 1-2; ECF No. 7-1
at 8. The SAC contains no claims and makes no sense without
reference to the allegations in the original Complaint and
FAC. It consists mainly of definitions regarding civil rights
and negligence actions, and citations to case law, federal
and state statutes, the Constitution, the “Prisoners
Self-Help Litigation Manual, ” and the Court's
prior orders. ECF No. 7-1 at 7.
says Defendants “violated his civil rights during [his]
transfer from S.C.C. to Hawaii when he fell after exiting the
bus upon arrival at H.C.F. on November of 2018.”
Id. at 1 (some capitalization omitted). He alleges
that he sustained a gash above his right eye that required
internal and external stitches, and whiplash. He provides no
further context regarding his fall, the alleged denial of
adequate medical care thereafter was by Defendants, or
Defendants' alleged ...