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Ramos-Rodriguez v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 15, 2017

MANUEL RAMOS-RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiffs,
v.
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge

         On June 25, 2015, Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis, along with a complaint. Docket No. 1. On June 26, 2015, the Court denied Plaintiff's application without prejudice for failure to include a financial certificate, certified copy of his inmate trust account statement, and a signed financial affidavit. Docket No. 2 at 1. On July 21, 2015, Plaintiff filed a renewed application to proceed in forma pauperis. On July 29, 2015, the Court denied Plaintiff's renewed application without prejudice, again because it was incomplete. Docket No. 4 at 1-2. On August 19, 2015, Plaintiff filed a second renewed application to proceed in forma pauperis, which the Court granted on January 12, 2016. Docket Nos. 5, 6. The Court later amended its order granting Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis. Docket No. 7.

         On January 18, 2017, the Court issued an order screening Plaintiff's complaint. Docket No. 9. The Court found that Plaintiff's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims against Defendants Beck, Escartin, Holloway, Laurenco, Rich, Porter, and Thomas were sufficient for screening purposes. However, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend because, inter alia, Plaintiff failed to fully explain the circumstances of, and individuals relevant to, his claim for medical mistreatment. Id. at 4-5.[1]

         On February 16, 2017, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, which added Sheriff Lombardo, Undersheriff McMahill, Sergeant Renolds, and Doctors Browder, Kotoyan, Duran, and Zinser as defendants. Docket No. 13. The Court found that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted as to Defendants Lombardo and McMahill because it was unclear which constitutional provision or state statute he was alleging they violated. Docket No. 17 at 2. The Court also found that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted as to Defendants Renolds, Browder, Kotoyan, Duran, and Zinser because, though he alleged that they violated his Eighth Amendment rights, he failed to demonstrate that they acted under color of law. Id. at 2-3. The Court therefore dismissed Plaintiff's amended complaint with leave to amend. Id. at 3.

         On May 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint, which adds as a defendant an individual that Plaintiff identifies as the Chief Medical Administrator (“CMA”) or John Doe. Docket No. 19. The Court now screens Plaintiff's second amended complaint according to the standards previously identified in Docket No. 9.

         I. ANALYSIS

         As a preliminary matter and as previously stated in the order at Docket No. 17, the Court has already determined that Plaintiff's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims against Defendants Beck, Escartin, Holloway, Laurenco, Rich, Porter, and Thomas are sufficient for screening purposes. Docket No. 9. As the Court has already allowed these claims to move forward, see Docket No. 10, it does not address the portions of Plaintiff's second amended complaint related to these defendants.

         Additionally, the Court notes that, for purposes of the analysis below, Plaintiff's conclusory assertions that all defendants have acted under color of law, see, e.g., Docket No. 19 at 24, fail to meet Rule 8's[2] basic requirements. As discussed further below, therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to sufficiently plead the state action requirement for certain claims. Similarly, Plaintiff's conclusory references to various state law torts, see, e.g., id. at 19, 30, also fail to meet Rule 8's basic requirements. As a result, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state any state law claims upon which relief may be granted, and proceeds to screen Plaintiff's federal law claims.

         a. Defendants Lombardo and Underhill

         Plaintiff's second amended complaint attempts to allege Fourth, Fourteenth, and Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Lombardo and Underhill under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Docket No. 19 at 17-18. To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that a right secured by the Constitution or statutory law has been violated, and the deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of law. See Anderson v. Warner, 451 F.3d 1063, 1067 (9th Cir. 2006). The Court interprets Plaintiff's second amended complaint as alleging that Defendants Lombardo and Underhill acted under color of law as the supervisors of Defendants Beck, Escartin, Holloway, Laurenco, Rich, Porter, Thomas, and Renolds. See Docket No. 19 at 17.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Lombardo and Underhill failed to properly train and supervise defendant officers who, he submits, violated his constitutional rights in the context of arresting him and overseeing subsequent medical treatment. See Id . Generally, “[s]upervisors aren't vicariously liable for constitutional violations under section 1983.” Peralta v. Dillard, 744 F.3d 1076, 1085 (9th Cir. 2014) (internal citation omitted). “A supervisor may be liable only if (1) he or she is personally involved in the constitutional deprivation, or (2) there is a sufficient causal connection between the supervisor's wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation.” Crowley v. Bannister, 734 F.3d 967, 977 (9th Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Snow v. McDaniel, 681 F.3d 978, 989 (9th Cir. 1989)). “Under the latter theory, supervisory liability exists even without overt personal participation in the offensive act if supervisory officials implement a policy so deficient that the policy itself is a repudiation of constitutional rights and is the moving force of a constitutional violation.” Crowley, 734 F.3d at 977 (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 645-46 (9th Cir. 1989)).

         The Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted against Defendants Lombardo and Underhill under § 1983. Plaintiff's generalized allegations of insufficient training and policymaking fail to demonstrate that these defendants were personally involved in any violations of his constitutional rights. See, e.g., Docket No. 19 at 12, 17-18, 20. Similarly, Plaintiff's allegations fail to meet the standards set forth above regarding a causal connection between these defendants' alleged actions and the alleged constitutional violations. See id.

         b. Defendant Renolds

         The Court construes Plaintiff's second amended complaint as attempting to state an Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Renolds under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Docket No. 19 at 15. The Court further interprets Plaintiff's second amended complaint as alleging that Defendant Renolds acted under color of law as a ...


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