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Durrell Puckett v. Officer S. Arreguin

April 2, 2012

DURRELL PUCKETT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER S. ARREGUIN, DEFENDANT.



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

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

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On June 1, 2010, Plaintiff Durrell Puckett, 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 consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 5.)

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 identifies Officer Arreguin as the sole Defendant in this action and alleges the following:

On September 21, 2009, Arreguin told Plaintiff that she did not like him because of the offense for which he was incarcerated and because he is Black. (Compl. at 7.) She openly called Plaintiff a "chester, pedophile and rapist" and told Hispanic inmates that Plaintiff had molested and murdered two children. (Id. at 5.) "She past [sic] out weapons for inmates to stab/and or kill me." (Id.) Arreguin offered the Hispanic inmates sexual favors, drugs, or cash in exchange for killing Plaintiff. (Id. at 5, 8.) "Arreguin purposely pulled [Plaintiff] out of [his] cell so a inmate could attempt to spear [Plaintiff] with a blow dart. As the inmate missed she laughed at [Plaintiff] and said better luck next time nigger." (Id. at 9.)

Plaintiff filed an inmate grievance complaining of Arreguin's conduct. (Id. at 6, 8.) In retaliation for filing a grievance, Arreguin refused to feed Plaintiff (id. at 7, 8) or allow him to shower (id. at 8). While denying Plaintiff access to the shower, Arreguin told Plaintiff to "stop writing [her] up . . . ." (Compl. at 8.) Some time later, when Arreguin resumed serving Plaintiff his food, she threatened to poison him. (Id. at 9.)

Plaintiff was moved to a unit not staffed by Arreguin, but she began visiting Plaintiff in the new unit, without signing in, and threatening him. (Id. at 7.) She also has repeatedly tampered with Plaintiff's legal mail. (Id. at 8.)

Plaintiff has suffered physically and emotionally from the conditions created by Defendant Arreguin's conduct and now fears for his life. (Id. at 9.) The Complaint asserts that the aforementioned conduct violated Plaintiff's First and Eighth Amendment ...


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