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Alfredo Cervantes v. J. Woodford

December 11, 2010

ALFREDO CERVANTES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
J. WOODFORD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

(ECF No. 1)

COMPLAINT DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Alfredo Cervantes ("Plaintiff"), an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP") in Coalinga, 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 October 23, 2009. (ECF No. 1.) No other parties have appeared. 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 on the grounds that Defendants failed to protect him, subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment, and provided inadequate medical treatment to him, all in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and denied him access to the courts. Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants: James Yates, Warden; J. Woodford, Director of Corrections; N. Grannis, Chief Inmate Appeal Branch; J. Herrera, Correctional Counselor II; C. Huckabay, Correctional Counselor II; and R. Ramsey, Correctional Officer/Transportation Officer. All Defendants were employed at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP").

Plaintiff alleges as follows: On March 3, 2003, Plaintiff was transferred to PVSP. He was not notified of the presence of Coccidioidomycosis ("Valley Fever") or any environmental health hazards there. In October 2005, Plaintiff was diagnosed with Valley Fever and received treatment for approximately two weeks. After being released from the prison hospital, he received no further medical treatment for approximately four months despite numerous requests. Plaintiff ultimately was confined to a wheel chair for two years and, eventually, prescribed medication to treat his Valley Fever.

On June 3, 2008, Plaintiff's heart began racing and he felt ill while being transported in a van by Defendant Ramsey. Another inmate, also being transported in the van, reported an odor of gas and exhaust in the van. He too became ill. Defendant Ramsey advised Plaintiff and the other inmate to hold on until they reached the prison a short distance away. When they reached the prison, Plaintiff passed out, fell, and injured himself. Plaintiff attempted to file a grievance regarding this incident, but it was screened out.

In his request for relief, Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that his rights were violated, compensatory damages, punitive damages, trial by jury, and costs.

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 action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. "Section 1983 . . . creates a cause of action for violations of the federal Constitution and laws." Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385, 1391 ...


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