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Tony Eugene Saffold v. T. Reynolds

April 22, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge


(DOC. 11)

Screening Order

I. Background

Plaintiff Tony Eugene Saffold ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action by filing his complaint on December 31, 2009. Doc. 1. On October 12, 2010, the Court screened Plaintiff's complaint. Doc. 9. The Court found that Plaintiff stated a claim against Defendants T. Reynolds and J. Roberts for failure to protect in violation of the Eighth Amendment, but stated no other claims. The Court ordered Plaintiff either to file a first amended complaint, curing the deficiencies identified, or notify the Court of his willingness to proceed only on the claims found to be cognizable. On November 15, 2010, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint. Doc. 11.

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 Atl. 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.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary Of Complaint

Plaintiff was previously incarcerated at Avenal State Prison ("ASP") in Avenal, California, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names as Defendants: correctional officers T. Reynolds and J. Roberts; appeals coordinator N. Lopez; warden James Hartley; and Does 1 and 2. Doe 1 is an unknown inmate. Doe 2 is an unknown medical doctor employed at ASP.

Plaintiff alleges the following. On September 25, 2008, Plaintiff asked Defendant Reynolds for his legal materials. He was denied. On his way to his cell, Plaintiff was attacked by Defendant Doe 1 who socked him in the face while he had glasses on. The force of the blow caused Plaintiff to hit his head on the bottom of the stairs. Defendants Reynolds and Roberts watched as Defendant Doe 1 beat Plaintiff until he was tired. Defendant Reynolds then tightly handcuffed Plaintiff.

Plaintiff was moved to another yard on the same day. When Plaintiff arrived at the yard, he noticed that his property, including his legal materials, canteen package items, and some personal property was missing. Plaintiff's television had been smashed in. Defendant Reynolds had his name on the inventory sheet, indicating that he had packed Plaintiff's items.

On September 26, 2008, Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal regarding his property. On the same day, he filed a separate staff misconduct complaint. On October 1, 2008, Defendant Lopez informed Plaintiff that he should send the property grievance to Defendants Reynolds and Roberts. On October 7, 2008, Plaintiff's staff misconduct complaint was processed as a property appeal. Defendants Lopez and Hartley continued to treat Plaintiff's staff misconduct complaint as his property appeal.

On October 14, 2008, Plaintiff received his legal property. Plaintiff submitted a healthcare appeal form. Plaintiff had seen medical staff the day of the attack (September 25, 2008), who recommended that he receive a follow-up. Plaintiff had suffered a head injury. Plaintiff however did not see any medical staff at all until November 17, 2008, when he saw a primary care physician, Doe 2. Doe 2 ordered x-rays and gave Plaintiff Tylenol.

Plaintiff examined his central file on December 4, 2008, and discovered an inaccurate chrono in his file. The chrono did not mention anything ...

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