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Hucker v. California Dep't of Corrections

November 24, 2010

JASON R. HUCKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Jason R. Hucker ("Plaintiff"), an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") at Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP") in Delano, California, is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on July 21, 2009 and consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on July 31, 2009. (ECF Nos. 1 & 4.) No other parties have appeared in this action. Plaintiff's Complaint is now before this Court for screening.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action or appeal... fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[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 that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff brings this action for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights by a single Defendant, the California Department of Corrections ("CDOC").

Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on February 14, 2009 at approximately 2:30 a.m., he attempted to climb out of his assigned upper bunk bed. Despite using a desk and a locker for support, he fell, was injured, and sustained a cut to his head. Plaintiff's cell-mate applied pressure to the wound and notified prison staff of the injury. Plaintiff was transported to the Correctional Treatment Center ("CTC"), where he was given pain medication and then transported to an outside hospital, where his head wound was stapled. He was then returned to the prison. He did not receive further medical treatment for his injury until five days later.

Although, not entirely clear, Plaintiff's complaint seems to allege deliberate indifference to the risk posed by the bunk bed construction and inadequate medical care, and he seeks a court order requiring CDOC to change the construction of bunk beds used in state prisons.

IV. ANALYSIS

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 ...


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