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Alex Fernandez v. California Dept. of Corrections

July 28, 2011

ALEX FERNANDEZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED AND DENYING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (ECF Nos. 1 and 8)

Plaintiff Alex Fernandez ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action on June 4, 2010 (Compl., ECF No. 1), and consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on June 15, 2010 (Consent, ECF No. 5). Plaintiff filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction on September 13, 2010. (Mot., ECF No. 8.) Both the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and the Complaint are before the Court at this time.

I. 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. 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, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (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). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.

A. Plaintiff's Claims

At the time Plaintiff filed his Complaint, he was incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, California ("CSATF"). Plaintiff claims violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights against the following Defendants: (1) California Department of Corrections, (2) Medical Department at CSATF State Prison, (3) Physicians Assistant Peters, (4) Registered Nurse Paat, and (5) Chief Medical Officer A. Enenmoh. Plaintiff seeks both monetary and injunctive relief.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

Plaintiff arrived at CSATF on September 30, 2009, with keloids on both of his ears. He was seen by Defendant Paat and then referred to Defendant Peters, who in turn referred him to Defendant Enenmoh. Defendant Enenmoh sent Plaintiff to see a surgeon regarding the keloid formations on his ears, chest, and back. The surgeon recommended that the keloids be removed, but the California Department of Corrections and the Medical Department at CSATF State Prison have not permitted the procedures. Plaintiff's keloids have grown in size and caused him to go deaf. He also has pain in his brain. Plaintiff believes that he will suffer from brain damage if the removal surgery is not preformed soon.

Plaintiff requests an immediate preliminary injunction ordering removal of his keloids, punitive damages of at least $10 million dollars, and monetary damages of at least $15 million dollars.

B. Analysis

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements:

(1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United ...


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