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Rudy Gonzales v. Dr. Rummel

January 31, 2012

RUDY GONZALES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. RUMMEL,
DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFFS'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1)

AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS SCREENING ORDER

Plaintiff Rudy Gonzales ("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 January 18, 2011. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) No other parties have appeared in this action. 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, 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.

II. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is a prisoner currently housed at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility - Corcoran ("CSATF"). (Compl. at 1.) Plaintiff names Dr. Rummel as the only Defendant in this action. He alleges that Dr. Rummel denied him adequate medical care. Plaintiff seeks damages according to proof. (Compl. at 3.)

More specifically, Plaintiff alleges as follows: Defendant Rummel is employed in the optometry clinic as an "eyeglasses physician" at CSATF. (Compl. at 2.) Plaintiff's allegations center around his quest to obtain an unbroken pair of eyeglasses. (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff ordered a pair of eyeglasses, but upon receipt, found that they were broken. (Id.) He then put in a medical request form to see an eye doctor and have his glasses repaired. (Id.) On September 12, 2008, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Rummel. (Id.) Defendant Rummel took the eyeglasses Plaintiff had already paid for and did not return them. (Id.) The "MTA" gave Plaintiff the wrong eyeglasses and the frame was broken. (Id.) The eyeglasses were never returned, but Plaintiff was still charged $15.00 for the broken eyeglasses and went un-reimbursed for the $85.60 he paid for the glasses in the first place. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff has been denied proper health care because the eyeglasses he originally purchased were not replaced. (Id.) Plaintiff was discriminated against in the course of his attempts to obtain medical attention. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff's due process rights were also violated. (Id. at 9.)

III. 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 § 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. ...


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