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Jamal Albert Jenkins v. James A. Yates

July 12, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge



Jamal Albert Jenkins ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12132. This action was initiated by civil Complaint filed by Plaintiff on April 28, 2011, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. (Doc. 1.) On May 16, 2011, the case was transferred to the Eastern District of California. (Doc. 7.) On June 7, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a Supplemental Complaint, which was filed by the Clerk. (Doc. 17.)

Plaintiff's original Complaint, filed on April 28, 2011, 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 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).


Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP") in Coalinga, California, where the events at issue allegedly occurred. Plaintiff names as defendants James A. Yates (Warden of PVSP), Anthony S. Lonigro (CEO of PVSP Health Services), J. Clark Kelso (Health Care Services Receiver), and Captain C. Herrera.

Plaintiff alleges as follows in the Complaint. Plaintiff suffers from a medical condition known as Paruresis or Shybladder Syndrome, which makes it difficult for those afflicted to urinate in front of other people. In Plaintiff's case, it is his cell mates that trigger the agonizing effect of not being able to urinate. As a result of this condition, Plaintiff suffers extreme agony, misery, deteriorating mental and physical health, and pain that feels like having white hot coals lodged in his bladder on a daily basis. Defendants refuse to provide him with treatment for Paruresis despite Plaintiff's many impassioned entreaties over the years. Plaintiff's prison appeals have been promptly screened out. The CDCR has placed Plaintiff in the Mental Health Delivery System for suffering Paruresis and possibly undiagnosed mental illness.

Three separate physicians and nurses at PVSP and ISP have voiced concerns that Plaintiff's prescription for Terazosin is not the right medication for Plaintiff's illness, but PVSP medical has refused to provide the correct medication. Plaintiff is afraid to make requests because PVSP medical may take away the Terazosin without a replacement, in reprisal. Plaintiff's requests, made directly to Defendants, have been ignored. Plaintiff also takes 1200 to 2400 mg of Ibuprofen to mask his bladder pain, but only urination eliminates the pain. PVSP Psychiatrist Dr. Encarnacion (not named as a defendant) prescribed antidepressants for Plaintiff's anxiety, but the side effects made it more difficult for Plaintiff to urinate. Plaintiff's anxiety is escalating.

Correctional officers or other CDCR employees have divulged confidential information from Plaintiff's medical file and inmate appeals to other prisoners, and Plaintiff's cell mates use that information to cause Plaintiff extreme agony. Plaintiff has repeatedly requested either single cell status or a cell mate who has an AM program, but correctional officers have responded by placing Plaintiff with cell mates who deliberately exacerbate his illness. CDCR employees at PVSP are subjecting Plaintiff to a campaign of harassment, deliberately exacerbating Plaintiff's illness. Defendants refuse to protect Plaintiff from the ongoing campaign of harassment. Plaintiff's illness is exacerbated by the arbitrary and capricious rolling lockdowns, training days, staff shortages, mystery down days, and legitimate security lockdowns, which disrupt Plaintiff's schedule. Placing Plaintiff on single cell status would put an end to this unsafe condition of confinement.

Plaintiff requests monetary damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, and court costs and fees.


The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides: Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. "Section 1983 . . . creates a cause of action for violations of the federal Constitution and laws." Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385, 1391 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotations omitted).

To state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant acted under color of state law and (2) the defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal law. Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006). "A person 'subjects' another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made." Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). "The requisite causal connection can be established not only by some kind of direct, personal participation in the deprivation, but also by setting in motion a series of acts by others which the actors knows or reasonably should know would cause others to inflict the constitutional injury." Johnson at 743-44).

Under federal notice pleading, a complaint is required to 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, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). "While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). To state a viable claim for relief, Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.

The Court finds the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint vague and conclusory. Plaintiff has not alleged facts in the Complaint demonstrating that any of the individual named Defendants personally acted in a way that resulted in the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Although the Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Community Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). Plaintiff must allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts which defendants engaged in that support plaintiff's claim. Id.

With respect to Plaintiff's ADA claim, Plaintiff fails to show that he is a qualified person with a disability under the ADA, or that he was improperly excluded from participation in, and denied the benefits of, a prison service, program, or ...

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