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Arthur Luna v. California Health Care

May 31, 2012

ARTHUR LUNA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA HEALTH CARE SERVICES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 13) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

SECOND SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Arthur Luna is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)

Plaintiff's Complaint was dismissed with leave to amend for failure to state a claim. (Order Dismiss. Compl., ECF No. 11.) Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (First Am. Compl., ECF No. 13) which 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 FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges Defendants were deliberately indifferent and negligent as to injuries he suffered in a May 16, 2009 fall from his upper bunk at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility ("CSATF") and thereby violated his Eighth Amendment rights and state tort law. (First Am. Compl. at 3-6, 16-27.) His fall damaged surgical work which had been performed on his left shoulder by (non-party) Dr. Smith the month before. (Id.) He saw Defendant Delano, a nurse in the prison clinic shortly after the fall; she was disrespectful to him and refused to examine his injury and give him proper medical care, leaving Plaintiff in pain. (Id. at 3, 16-27.) He saw his surgeon, Dr. Smith at the prison clinic on June 1, 2009; Dr. Smith ordered pain medication (morphine) and an MRI of the shoulder. (Id. at 23.) Defendant Dr. Ugwueze, a supervising medical doctor at CSATF, interfered with and denied Dr. Smith's order, and told Plaintiff there was nothing wrong with his shoulder. (Id. at 3, 18.)

Defendant California [Prison] Health Care Services is responsible for the care provided by Defendants Delano and Ugwueze and negligently hired and retained them. (Id.)

Plaintiff names as Defendants (1) California Health Care Services (CHCS),*fn1 (2)

Nurse Delano, (3) Dr. Ugwueze. (Id. at 2-3.)

Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief for proper care and medication, and monetary compensation. (Id. at 3.)

IV. ANALYSIS

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. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. ...


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