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Carlos Alvarez v. James A. Yates

July 29, 2011

CARLOS ALVAREZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES A. YATES, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE SEPTEMBER 6, 2011

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 10, 2009, Plaintiff Carlos Alvarez, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff's Complaint is before the Court for screening.

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. 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, malicious," or 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).

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 § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

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). 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.

III. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

The Complaint identifies the following Corcoran State Prison officials as defendants in this action: Doctor Neubarth, Family Nurse Practitioner Saipher, and Warden James A. Yates. Doctor Duenas and the entire medical staff at Pleasant Valley State Prison are also named Defendants. Plaintiff alleges the following in the body of the Complaint:

On September 30, 2005, Plaintiff slipped and injured himself as a result of unsanitary and poor housing conditions at Chino State Prison. (Compl. at 9, 10). Plaintiff's injuries were not addressed at Chino. (Compl. at 10). On October 12, 2005, Plaintiff was transferred to Corcoran. (Compl. at 12).

In February 2006, Plaintiff saw Defendant Neubarth for treatment of pain he was experiencing from the Chino fall. Defendant Neubarth ordered an MRI; it was completed on April 6, 2006. (Compl. at 12). On April 19, 2006, Defendant Neubarth advised Plaintiff that a specialist was needed to treat Plainitff's knee. (Id.) Defendant Neubarth prescribed ibuprofen but did not otherwise treat Plaintiff. (Compl. at10).

Plaintiff is a Spanish speaker who does not communicate well in English. (Id.) Although no interpreter was requested, Plaintiff alleges that one should have been provided during their April 19, 2006 appointment because Defendant Neubarth was ...


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