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Williams v. Head Security Team

United States District Court, D. Nevada

October 21, 2019

BYRON WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
HEAD SECURITY TEAM, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (EFC NO. 1) AND COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 1-1)

          CAM FERENBACH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court are pro se Plaintiff Byron Williams's application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) and complaint (ECF No. 1-1). Plaintiff's in forma pauperis application is granted and his complaint is dismissed without prejudice.

         Discussion

         Plaintiff's filings present two questions: (1) whether Williams may proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and (2) whether Williams's complaint states a plausible claim for relief.

         I. Plaintiff Williams May Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Williams 's application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), if a plaintiff brings a civil action, the prisoner “shall be required to pay the full amount of the filing fee, ” and when funds exist, the court shall collect as partial payment the “initial partial filing fee of 20 percent of the greater of -- (A) the average monthly deposits to the prisoner's account; or (B) the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint[.]” According to Williams's financial certificate, he paid a filing fee equal to 20 percent of his current account balance on August 30, 2019, an amount greater than the amount he would have paid under 20 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) or (B). (ECF No. 1 at 5). Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

         II. Plaintiff's Complaint Fails to State a Claim Upon Which the Court May Grant Relief

         When the Court has granted an application to proceed in forma pauperis, it must review plaintiff's complaint to determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a plausible claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) provides that a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” The Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal states that to satisfy Rule 8's requirements, a complaint's allegations must cross “the line from conceivable to plausible.” 556 U.S. 662, 680 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007)). Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A complaint should be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) "if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claims that would entitle him to relief." Buckey v. Los Angeles, 968 F.2d 791, 794 (9th Cir. 1992).

         “[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). If the Court dismisses a complaint under § 1915(e), the plaintiff should be given leave to amend the complaint with directions as to curing its deficiencies, unless it is clear from the face of the complaint that the deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).

         Williams filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the head security team, the surveillance team, and an unknown doctor at Spring Valley Hospital. (ECF No. 1-1 at 2). Williams alleges he and his sister were attacked by doctor(s) and/or nurse(s) while at Spring Valley Hospital, and that video surveillance footage of the incident was deleted at the direction of hospital personnel. (ECF No. 1-1 at 3-4). Williams asks the court to consider that the incident was motivated by discrimination against Williams's mental and physical disabilities. (ECF No. 1-1 at 1, 3). He states his causes of action are violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and deliberate indifference. (ECF No. 1-1 at 3-5, 9). Williams is currently incarcerated. (ECF No. 1 at 3). The complaint does not allege that state or local officials had Williams in their care or custody at the time of the alleged incident.

         To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must plead that the named defendant (1) acted "under color of state law" and (2) "deprived the plaintiff of rights secured by the Constitution or federal statutes." Gibson v. U.S., 781 F.2d 1334, 1338 (9th Cir. 1986). A defendant has acted under color of state law where he or she has “exercised power ‘possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law.'” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49 (1988) (quoting United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 326 (1941)).

         Plaintiff's complaint does not allege facts to support a claim that the defendants were acting “under the color of state law, ” or that the State was in any way responsible for the conduct of the Spring Valley Hospital defendants at the time of the alleged incident. The defendants here appear to be private parties not acting “under the color of state law.” Plaintiff Williams's complaint therefore fails to state a claim under § 1983. Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed without prejudice. If Williams files an amended complaint, it must be “complete in and of itself without reference to the superseded pleading and must include copies of all exhibits referred to in the proposed amended pleading.” LR 15-1(a).

         ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that Williams's application to proceed in ...


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