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Schuett v. Collins

United States District Court, D. Nevada

December 17, 2014

WARDEN COLLINS et al., Defendants

Clifford J. Schuett, Plaintiff, Pro se, Pahrump, NV.


Jennifer Dorsey, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff, who is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Southern Detention Center (" NSDC"), has submitted a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis, a motion to be heard, a motion for writ of habeas corpus, motions to compel, a petition for writ of habeas corpus, motions for protective order, a motion for new information, a motion to stop his move to an Arizona facility, a motion for a hearing, a motion for a court order, a motion for new injuries, and a motion for an order allowing plaintiff to practice his religion. (Doc. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22).


Turning first to Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis, (Doc. 3): based on the information regarding plaintiff's financial status, the court finds that plaintiff is not able to pay an initial installment payment towards the full filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff will, however, be required to make monthly payments towards the full $350.00 filing fee when he has funds available. Because I grant the motion to proceed informa pauperis I now screen plaintiff's complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).


Federal courts must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (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 color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988). In addition to the screening requirements under § 1915A, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires a federal court to dismiss a prisoner's claim if it " fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); accord Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(6).

Dismissal for failure to state a claim is proper only if it is clear that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him or her to relief. See Morley v. Walker, 175 F.3d 756, 759 (9th Cir. 1999). In making this determination, the court takes as true all allegations of material fact stated in the complaint and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Warshaw v. Xoma Corp., 74 F.3d 955, 957 (9th Cir. 1996). A reviewing court should " begin by identifying pleadings [allegations] that, because they are no more than mere conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). " While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported with factual allegations." Id. " Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. The plaintiff must provide more than mere labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action is insufficient. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007); see also Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286, 106 S.Ct. 2932, 92 L.Ed.2d 209 (1986).

Although allegations of a pro se complainant like Mr. Schuett are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, see Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S.Ct. 173, 66 L.Ed.2d 163 (1980); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972); Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988), all or part of a complaint filed by a prisoner may be dismissed sua sponte if the prisoner's claims lack an arguable basis either in law or in fact. This includes claims based on legal conclusions that are untenable (e.g., claims against defendants who are immune from suit or claims of infringement of a legal interest which clearly does not exist), as well as claims based on fanciful factual allegations (e.g., fantastic or delusional scenarios). See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989); see also McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991). If it is clear from the face of the complaint that any deficiencies could not be cured by amendment, leave to amend is not required. See Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).


Plaintiff sues multiple defendants for events that took place during his incarceration at the Nevada Southern Detention Center (" NSDC"), a Corrections Corporation of America (" CCA") facility, in Pahrump, Nevada.[1] (Doc. 1-1 at 1). Plaintiff sues Defendants Warden Collins, Case Manager Supervisor Delaney, and U.S. Marshal Steven Carpenter. (Id. at 2). Plaintiff alleges one count and seeks $10, 000, 000 in monetary damages. (Id. at 4, 7).

The complaint alleges the following: Plaintiff is a paraplegic who is paralyzed from the waist down and is confined to a wheelchair. (Id. at 4). On August 28, 2014, Plaintiff was moved from the G-4 dormitory to a cell in the BB-unit because Plaintiff had injured himself three times in the G-4 dormitory. (Id.). On September 18, 2014, Collins and Delaney ordered plaintiff to move to the F-3 dormitory. (Id.).

On September 20, 2014, Plaintiff could not use the one handicapped toilet in the dormitory because the toilet was plugged up. (Id.). Plaintiff had to use the non-handicapped toilet. (Id.). While attempting to transfer himself from the wheelchair to the toilet, plaintiff fell on the floor and injured his lower spine and left arm. (Id.). That toilet had no safety rails. (Id.).

On September 23, 2014, plaintiff fell in the shower of the F-3 dormitory. (Id.). Plaintiff's left arm could not hold plaintiff's weight when Plaintiff was attempting to transfer himself to the shower seat. (Id.). Plaintiff fell and damaged his left leg. (Id.). On that same day, Delaney told plaintiff that Collins had ordered plaintiff's move to the dormitory. (Id. at 5). Both Collins and Delaney knew that plaintiff had been previously injured in the G-4 dormitory. (Id.). Collins and Delaney told plaintiff that he had to be housed in the dormitory or he would have to go to the hole. (Id.). When plaintiff spoke to Carpenter, the U.S. Marshal liaison, about being housed in a dangerous dormitory, ...

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