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Craig Cooper v. Synthia Sely

February 27, 2012

CRAIG COOPER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SYNTHIA SELY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER FINDING CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANT SYNTHIA SELY COGNIZABLE (ECF No. 1) SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 1, 2011, Plaintiff Craig Cooper, 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

The Complaint identifies Synthia Sely, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) and an unspecified number of John Does*fn1 as Defendants in this action. Plaintiff alleges the following:

On September 2, 2010, Plaintiff informed Defendant Sely "'that he was having diabetic problems and needed to be tested to see if he was high or low blood sugar so that he could get the right treatment, food or insulin.'" (Compl. at 5, 6.) Defendant Sely refused to treat Plaintiff. Sely was aware that Plaintiff was diabetic and, as the diabetic nurse, she had the skill and equipment to provide Plaintiff the treatment he sought. (Id.) Defendant Sely was "aware that [P]laintiff['s] medical condition could be fatal if not treated" promptly. (Id. at 6.) When he approached Sely, Plaintiff was experiencing "sweating, panick [sic], insatiable thir[s]t, elevated heart rate, trembling kind of feeling, feeling irritable, blurred vision and more." (Id.) After being denied treatment, Plaintiff suffered through his symptoms "for the rest of that evening and all night." (Id. at 7.) "As a proximate result of the [D]efendant['s] conduct, [P]laintiff has suffered general damages in the form of severe pain and emotional distress." (Id. at 8.)

IV. ANALYSIS

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 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.'" Id. Facial plausibility demands more than ...


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