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Jeremy Jones v. Dr. Chen

May 24, 2012


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





Plaintiff Jeremy Jones, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis filed this civil rights action on October 24, 2011 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)

Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening.


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).


Plaintiff complains that Defendant medical and correctional staff at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) were deliberately indifferent to his ruptured spinal disc, discriminated against him because he is African American, and conspired to retaliate against him for his related grievances and threats of litigation, in violation of his rights under the First, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and federal statutes. (Compl. at 1-2.)

Plaintiff grieved "sub par" medical care at KVSP beginning in July 2009. Medical staff Defendants Drs. Chen, Lopez, Juang, Dileo and Patel conspired to retaliate against him for filing grievances by terminating his pain medication, ADA status and use of a walking cane, and denying him emergency treatment on occasions when his back gave out. (Id. at 4-5.)

In December 2009, Plaintiff was granted a chrono regaining use of a cane.

In March 2010 Defendant Dr. Chen concocted a lie that "Plaintiff was seen running". Defendant Juarez supervised Defendant officers Negrete, Sanchez and Cox, who pursuant to a conspiracy with Defendant Dr. Chen, assaulted Plaintiff and confiscated his cane and ADA vest, (Compl. at 5); Plaintiff was falsely accused of battery on an officer in this incident, given Ad Seg and left to suffer without medical treatment. (Id.)

Defendant medical staff conspired and denied him all medical treatment (Id. at 6, 9) and placed unspecified false documents in his medical and central files. (Id. at 7.)

Plaintiff's subsequent grievances and citizen complaints were denied or misplaced by Defendants. (Id. at 6.)

Plaintiff names as Defendants (1) Chen MD, (2) Lopez Chief Medical Officer, (3) Dileo MD, (4) Juang MD, (5) Patel MD, (6) Warden Hense, (7) Capt. Woods, (8) Lt. Morales, (9) Sgt. Juarez, (10) Off. Negrete, (11) Off. Sanchez, and (12) Off. Cox.

Plaintiff seeks monetary compensation.


A. Pleading Requirements Generally

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. 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, 556 U.S. 662, 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 the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949--50.

B. Personal Participation and Doe Defendants

To state a claim under § 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each individually named defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). The Supreme Court has emphasized that the term "supervisory liability," loosely and commonly used by both courts and litigants alike, is a misnomer. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant, through his or her own individual actions, violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Id. at 1948--49.

Plaintiff fails to allege facts personally linking Defendants Lopez, Dileo, Juang, Patel, Hense, Woods, Morales and Juarez to any violation of his rights. Conclusory allegations that these Defendants conspired as to, or ...

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