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David Whitley v. Dr. Lopez

October 25, 2011

DAVID WHITLEY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. LOPEZ, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE NOVEMBER 28, 2011

Plaintiff David E. Whitley ("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 has consented to the Magistrate Judge handling all matters in this action. (ECF No. 5.)

Plaintiff initiated this action in August 19, 2010. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

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 (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.

II. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison ("KVSP") where the incidents alleged in his Complaint occurred. Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants: 1) Dr. Lopez, Chief Medical Officer ("CMO"), 2) Warden Harrington, Chief Executive Officer, and 3) Capt. M. Cabrera, Chief Officer Facility A. Plaintiff claims his rights under the Eighth Amendment were violated as a result of Defendants' failure to protect him.

Plaintiff alleges as follows:

In March 2010, Plaintiff was placed in a cell with an inmate who was a participant in the "Mental Health Service Delivery System." (Compl. at 3.) The cell-mate exhibited signs of mental instability. (Id.) Plaintiff requested a transfer to another cell, but was told that a transfer was not feasible at the time. (Id.)

On April 3, 2010, Plaintiff was involved in a fight with his cell-mate and was injured. (Id.) He was "later found 'not guilty' on [his] part on original charge." (Id.)

Plaintiff would like Defendant Harrington to be held responsible for his injuries because Defendant Harrington is responsible for all operations at KVSP. (Id.) Plaintiff wants Defendant Lopez to be held liable for his injuries because as CMO, Defendant Lopez was responsible for supervising Plaintiff's cell-mate, who was a psychiatric patient. (Id.) Lastly, Plaintiff would like Defendant Cabrera to be held liable due to Defendant Cabrera's lack of responsibility for the safe custody of his inmates. (Id.)

Plaintiff asks for monetary relief for Defendants' negligent provision of institutional security for inmates. (Id.) He also asks for monetary relief due to his mental anguish and stress, pain, suffering, ...


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