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Matthews v. Taylor

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 14, 2017

J. TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.


          Marco A. Hernandez ' United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court are Plaintiffs Motions to Amend and for a Preliminary Injunction (ECF Nos. 9 and 16).


         Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on October 6, 2016, alleging that Defendants violated his First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights by denying him adequate mental health care, subjecting him to excessive force, refusing to properly process his grievances, mishandling his mail, and subjecting him to harassment and retaliation. Compl. (ECF No. 2) at 45. On December 21, 2016, the Court granted Plaintiffs Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, denied his Motion for Appointment of Counsel, and sought waiver of service from the Defendants. Orders (ECF No. 5, 6, and 7). On January 19, 2017, the Court granted Defendants' motion to extend the time to file a waiver of service to February 22, 2017. Order (ECF No. 12). Consequently, as of this date, Defendants have not been served or waived service of process.


         I. Motion to Amend

         Plaintiff moves to file an Amended Complaint to (1) add as Defendants the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) and several of its supervisory officials; (2) add several factual allegations; and (3) "adjust slightly" his legal claims and prayer for relief. Mot. to Am. (ECF No. 9) at 2.

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 (a)(1) (A), a plaintiff may amend hi s complaint once as a matter of course within twenty-one days after serving it. Because Defendants have yet to \ be served or waive service, this Court grants Plaintiffs Motion to Amend. The Clerk of the Court j is directed to detach Plaintiffs Proposed Amended Complaint from his Motion and file it in the I Court record. 1

         II. Order Dismissing Amended Complaint in Part

         This Court must dismiss an action initiated by a prisoner seeking redress from a I governmental entity or officer or employee, if the Court determines that the action (i) is frivolous j or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief j against a defendant who is immune from such relief 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). In j order to state a claim, a plaintiff must allege facts which, when accepted as true, give rise to a j plausible inference that the defendants violated the plaintiffs constitutional rights. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556-57 (2007).

         "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotations omitted). Plaintiff is proceedingpro se, and therefore this Court construes the pleadings liberally and affords Plaintiff the benefit of any doubt. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff adds several supervisory officials as Defendants. However, Plaintiff fails to set forth any facts to support a reasonable inference that the Defendants were personally involved in the violation of Plaintiff s constitutional rights. It is well settled that a ii defendant is not vicariously liable under § 1983 for the conduct of his or her employees. Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 691-94 (1978). Accordingly, the Amended Complaint is dismissed as to Collette Peters, Elizabeth Craig, Kim Brockamp, Mitch Morrow, Birdie Janet Worley, Brian Belleque, and Adrian O'Connor. Additionally, the Amended Complaint is j dismissed as to ODOC on the basis of sovereign immunity. See Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Auth. v. Metcalf & Eddy, Inc., 506 U.S. 139, 144 (1993) (absent a clear and unequivocal waiver, the j Eleventh Amendment bars suit in federal court against either a state or an agency acting under its control).

         III. Motion for Preliminary Injunction

         Plaintiff moves for a preliminary injunction ordering Defendants to (1) provide him a mental health evaluation and care by a "hired state licensed psychiatrist;" (2) commence an "audit" of the prison's grievance processes and to accept and investigate his grievances; (3) commence an "audit" of the EOCI mailroom staff and order them to deliver his mail immediately; (4) commence an ] "audit" of EOCFs "mental health care infrastructure, grievance system infrastructure, mailroom arbitrations, and segregation staff training and general rule updates and/or policy changes from May 16, 2012 to ...

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