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Durrell Anthony Puckett v. D. Hill

April 4, 2012

DURRELL ANTHONY PUCKETT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
D. HILL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING CERTAIN CLAIMS (Doc. 9)

Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Durrell Puckett ("Plaintiff"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on May 17, 2011. Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint ("FAC") on February 8, 2012. Doc. 9. On March 13, 2012, the Court screened the FAC pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and found that it stated cognizable claims for relief against Defendants Murgia and Hill for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment and against Defendants Hill, Zollenger, Grannis, Biggs, Roth, and Hense for failure to protect in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Doc. 12. Plaintiff failed to state any other claims. Plaintiff was provided the opportunity to file a second amended complaint to cure the deficiencies identified, or to notify the Court that he wished to proceed only on the cognizable claims. On March 21, 2012, Plaintiff notified the Court that he wished to proceed on the FAC.

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, 556 U.S. 662, 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 to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949.

II. Summary of First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). He is housed at Corcoran State Prison, which is located in Corcoran, California. The events giving rise to the claims at issue arose while Plaintiff was incarcerated at North Kern State Prison ("North Kern"). Plaintiff names: D. Hill, lieutenant; K. Zollenger, correctional officer; Lydia Hense, Warden; L. Roth and M. Biggs, appeals coordinators; N. Grannis; and G. Murgia, correctional officer.

Plaintiff alleges the following: Defendant Murgia On March 23, 2008, Defendant Murgia wrote a false report because Plaintiff would not take back a grievance against him. Defendant Murgia knew that Plaintiff would be subjected to at least 45 days to 9 months in administrative segregation. FAC, p. 4.

On August 2, 2008, three days after Plaintiff was stabbed in the neck, head and face, Defendant Murgia "forced the nurse" not to give Plaintiff pain medication or cleanse his wounds. FAC, p. 4. Defendant Murgia had other officers threaten Plaintiff and influenced other officers to harass Plaintiff. Defendant Murgia also used racial slurs.

Remaining Defendants On July 18, 2008, Defendant Hill insinuated that Plaintiff was an informant and stated that she was not impressed with "chesters" like him. FAC, p. 5. Defendant Hill reportedly made the statements in retaliation for Plaintiff's staff misconduct complaint, knowing that the comments would place him in danger. As a result of Defendant Hill's statements, Plaintiff was stabbed in his neck, ear, face and head. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Zollenger allegedly witnessed the exchange with Defendant Hill, but did nothing to ensure Plaintiff's safety. FAC, p. 5.

Defendants Grannis, Roth, Biggs and Hense reportedly knew about reprisals by officers, but did nothing to ensure Plaintiff's safety. Plaintiff further alleges that they violated procedures by not acting on his emergency 602 complaint. FAC, p. 5.

Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and ...


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