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Jorge Enrique Murillo v. Sergeant Bueno

October 9, 2012


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


I. Background

Plaintiff Jorge Enrique Murillo ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On January 20, 2012, Plaintiff filed his complaint. ECF No. 1.

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). 2

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader 3 is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but 4 "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, 5 do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 6 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a 7 claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual 8 allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. 9

II. Summary of Complaint

Plaintiff was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison ("CSP") in Corcoran, California, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names the following as Defendants: sergeant Bueno, and correctional officers Aguirre, Stoll, and Field.

Plaintiff alleges the following. From January 20, 2011, to January 25, 2011, Plaintiff was housed in a 9 foot by 5 foot cage situated inside the 4A building of the Security Housing Unit ("SHU"). The cage is next to the program office of the building. Plaintiff was provided only a blanket and mattress. Plaintiff requested from Defendant Bueno that he needed to be housed in a warm environment, because of pins in his left leg that caused him pain in a cold environment. Defendant Bueno promised that Plaintiff would be placed in a cell. Defendant Bueno did not informally respond to Plaintiff's grievance prior to the incident being concluded.

On January 21, 2011, Defendant Aguirre worked the following days, restricting Plaintiff to use of the restroom once during Defendant's 8-hour shift, one cup of milk provided with breakfast, and one cup of water to take with his morning medications. Plaintiff did not receive a regular shower for five days. Plaintiff had no toothbrush, toothpaste, or toilet paper during the five days. There was a filthy rodent present at night. Defendant Aguirre also did not respond to Plaintiff's inmate grievance. The floor was greasy. Defendants Stoll and Field are also liable for the same reasons.

Plaintiff requests as relief compensatory and punitive damages, declaratory relief, and an injunction that Defendants stop housing prisoners in holding cages.

III. Analysis

A. Eighth Amendment

Plaintiff contends deliberate indifference to his conditions of confinement. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. "The Constitution does not mandate 5 comfortable prisons." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (quotation and citation omitted). 6

"[A] prison official violates the Eighth Amendment only when two requirements are met. First, the 7 deprivation alleged must be, objectively, 'sufficiently serious[;]' a prison official's act or omission 8 must result in the denial of 'the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities [.] . . . The second 9 requirement follows from the principle that 'only the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain implicates the Eighth Amendment.' To violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, a prison official must have a 'sufficiently culpable state of mind.'" Id. at 834. To demonstrate deliberate indifference, the prisoner must show that the official knew of and disregarded an excessive risk to the inmate's health or safety. Id. at ...

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