United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES
Timothy J. Cavan United States Magistrate Judge.
Colton Bulltail filed a Complaint alleging Defendants forced
him to remain overnight in a cell with feces and urine on the
floor in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United
States Constitution. The Complaint fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, and this matter should be
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Bulltail is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel and
in forma pauperis. His claims arose during his incarceration
at Yellowstone County Detention Facility (YCDF) in Billings,
Montana. He names the following Defendants: Yellowstone
County Detention Facility, Sheriff Mike Linder, Captain Sam
Bofto, Lieutenant Timothy Neiter, Sergeant Randy Nagel, and
Officer Dakota Sing. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 5-7.)
Bulltail alleges his Eighth Amendment rights were violated on
November 12, 2016 when urine and feces from the cell above
his cell backed up out of his toilet onto the floor. He asked
Officer Jameson if he could clean the cell, but was told that
since it was shift change he would have to wait until count
cleared. After count cleared, Mr. Bulltail again asked if he
could clean the urine and feces off the floor, but Officer
Dakota Sing told him there were no clean mop heads, and he
would not be let out of the cell to clean it up. Mr. Bulltail
went to sleep, and when the next shift came on Officer
Johnson let him out to clean the cell. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at
Bulltail is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the
Court must review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915
and § 1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require
the Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis
and/or by a prisoner against a governmental defendant before
it is served if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. A
complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). "A case is malicious if it was
filed with the intention or desire to harm another."
Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the
"grounds"'of his "entitlement to
relief." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
complaint "that states a claim for relief must contain
... a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
[plaintiff] is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). That is, 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) (quotations omitted). A
complaint's allegations must cross "the line from
conceivable to plausible." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
is a two-step procedure to determine whether a
complaint's allegations cross that line. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662.
First, the Court must identify "the allegations in the
complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual
allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if
they are "merely consistent with liability," or
"amount to nothing more than a 'formulaic recitation
of the elements' of a constitutional" claim.
Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops short of the line
between probability and the possibility of relief where the
facts pled are merely consistent with a defendant's
liability. Id. at 678.
the Court must determine whether the complaint states a
"plausible" claim for relief. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679. A claim is "plausible" if the factual
allegations, which are accepted as true, "allow[ ] the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678.
This inquiry is "a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense." Id. at 679 (citation omitted).
If the factual allegations, which are accepted as true,
"do not permit the court to infer more than the mere
possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it
has not "show[n]"-"that the pleader is
entitled to relief." Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
document filed pro se is 'to be liberally
construed,' and 'a, pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.'" Erickson v. Pardu, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007); cf. Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(e)
("Pleadings must be construed so as to do