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Don Valencia v. Harris

December 28, 2011

DON VALENCIA
PLAINTIFF,
v.
HARRIS, 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 WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On September 21, 2010, Plaintiff Don Valencia, 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's Complaint is now 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).

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff was housed at the Sierra Conservation Camp at Jamestown ("SCC") when he was attacked by another inmate in the Sensitive Needs Yard ("SNY"). (Compl., pp. 6, 8, ECF No. 1.) His Complaint alleges that the following Defendants, in their respective individual and official capacities, were assigned in and around the SNY and violated Plaintiff's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment right to protection from inmate violence: (1) Harris, Correctional Officer, (2) Fell, Correctional Officer, (3) Riggs, Correctional Officer, (4) Webb, Correctional Officer, (5) Hittle, Correctional Officer, (6) Anderson, Correctional Officer, (7) Dean, Correctional Sergeant and Yard Supervisor, and (8) Scott, Correctional Officer. (Id. at 6-8.)

Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages against each named Defendant and a federal investigation of the incident underlying this action. (Id. at 20.)

On August 23 2008, Plaintiff was attacked in the SNY by another inmate. (Id. at 8.) The attack lasted "about five minutes.". (Id. at 8.) Defendants wilfully and deliberately failed to respond to the attack for several minutes. (Id. at 9.) Defendants failed to follow departmental policy and procedure to stop the attack. (Id. 9.) Plaintiff suffered lacerations, abrasions and pain from the attack and continued, through the date the Complaint was filed, to suffer therefrom.

Plaintiff complains that each Defendant personally violated his rights. Defendants Harris (Tower 15 Officer) and Scott (Control Booth Officer), though armed and in a position to fire a weapon, "never fired a shot" and did not order inmates on the Yard to get down. (Id. at 10, 14-15.) Riggs (Floor Officer) was not at his assigned post during the attack; he could have stopped the attack had he been. (Id. at 11.) Defendant Hittle (Search and Escort Officer) was either not at his post or failed to respond to the attack. (Id. at 11-12.) Defendant Dean (Supervisory Yard Sergeant) failed to notice the attack, did nothing until the alarm was sounded, and failed to properly supervise the other Defendants to ensure they were at their assigned posts. (Id. at 12.) Defendant Dean followed a de facto institutional policy condoning inmate violence. (Id.) Defendants Fell ...


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