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Luis Roberto Martinez v. Mercy Hospital of

February 7, 2011

LUIS ROBERTO MARTINEZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MERCY HOSPITAL OF BAKERSFIELD, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

Findings and Recommendations Following Screening of Complaint

I. Summary of Case

Plaintiff Luis Roberto Martinez, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 12132 (the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)), and 29 U. S. C. § 794 (the Rehabilitation Act (RA)) on November 13, 2009. Plaintiff seeks to impose liability on Mercy Hospital of Bakersfield, an unidentified nursing supervisor, a Jane Doe certified nursing assistant, and Cloe/Cleo, a registered nurse, for violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the ADA, and the RA.

Plaintiff, a paraplegic incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, was taken to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital on May 5, 2009, for a serious urinary tract infection. Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital for five days, during which time he was unable to take a shower due to the unavailability of a shower bench. Plaintiff was provided with a sponge bath on May 7, 2009, and was thereafter offered sponge baths in response to his requests to shower. Plaintiff contends sponge baths were an unacceptable alternative because they left him feeling itchy, although Plaintiff was provided with anti-itch cream following his complaint of itchiness.

Plaintiff alleges that the failure to accommodate his request for a full shower violated his Eighth Amendment rights, and was discriminatory, in violation of the ADA and the RA.

II. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.*fn1 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).

III. Screening Standard

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, __ U.S. __, __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences," Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

Under section 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendantpersonally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

IV. Plaintiff's Claims

A. Eighth Amendment Claim

To constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, prison conditions must involve "the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain." Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347, 101 S.Ct. 2392 (1981). A prisoner's claim of inadequate medical care does not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation unless (1) "the prison official deprived the prisoner of the 'minimal civilized measure of life's necessities,'" and (2) "the prison official 'acted with deliberate indifference in doing so.'" Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1057 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 744 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted)). A prison official does not act in a ...


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