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Marconnett v. Sacramento County Sheriff Dep't

August 30, 2010

VINCENT SCOTT MARCONNETT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT, ET AL, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition to filing a complaint, plaintiff has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis, two motions to receive medical records, a request for production of documents, and a request for appointment of counsel. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

I. Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

Plaintiff has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Dckt. No. 16. Plaintiff's application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).

II. The Complaint

The complaint alleges the following: On August 31, 2009, plaintiff was housed at the Rio Consumnes Correctional Center. Dckt. No. 1 at 1. While plaintiff was in the prone position, on his stomach, and was bleeding profusely from his head, semi-conscious, id., an unidentified deputy approached plaintiff, and despite plaintiff's statements of "my head and neck!" the deputy jerked both of plaintiff's arms behind his back and placed plaintiff in handcuffs. Id. Plaintiff felt something grind and tear in his right shoulder and yelled "ouch, my [ ] shoulder!" Id. Still on the ground, plaintiff allegedly was dragged by his handcuffs. Id. Plaintiff was then seen by an unidentified doctor, who put nine staples in the rear side of plaintiff's head and six stitches in the left temple area of plaintiff's head. Id. The doctor thought plaintiff's shoulder might have been separated and ordered that plaintiff be taken to an outside hospital for x-rays. Id. at 2. Plaintiff was supposed to see an orthopedic doctor upon his return to the Correctional Center, but he was not seen by an orthopedic doctor until October 21, 2009. Id. The orthopedic doctor allegedly asked plaintiff "why did it take so long for you to be seen?" Id. The orthopedic doctor recommended that plaintiff receive immediate surgery on his shoulder. Id. The next day, plaintiff saw the unidentified doctor who previously gave plaintiff stitches. Id. That doctor allegedly laughed at plaintiff's request for a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon and for surgery, and told plaintiff he would not receive medical attention until plaintiff was transferred into the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Id. Plaintiff is in severe pain and claims to be denied adequate pain relievers. Id. at 3. Plaintiff also claims he is housed in general population, injured and unable to defend himself, and that he should be housed in the medical unit. Id.

III. Screening Order

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court shall review "a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). "On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id. § 1915A(b).

A district court must construe a pro se pleading "liberally" to determine if it states a claim and, prior to dismissal, tell a plaintiff of deficiencies in his complaint and give plaintiff an opportunity to cure them. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000). While detailed factual allegations are not required, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

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. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.

Id. (citations and quotation marks omitted). Although legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations, and are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950.

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress . . . .

42 U.S.C. § 1983. An individual defendant is not liable on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish the defendant's personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation or a causal connection between the defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged constitutional deprivation.

See Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989); Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743-44 (9th Cir. 1978).

To state a claim that the conditions of imprisonment violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, plaintiff must allege a specific individual was deliberately indifferent to some basic human need such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care or safety. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 303-04 (1991); Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981). A prison official is deliberately indifferent when he knows of and disregards a risk of injury or harm that "is not one that ...


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