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Joel Holley v. M. Scott

October 30, 2012

JOEL HOLLEY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. SCOTT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On May 4, 2012, Plaintiff Joel Holley, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 9.) Plaintiff's Complaint 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 COMPLAINT

Plaintiff identifies the following prison officials as Defendants in this action: (1) M. Scott, Classification Board Member, California State Prison, Solano (Solano); (2) T. Felton, RN, Receiving and Release, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP); (3) J. Randle, Correctional Counselor, PVSP; (4) J. Chokatos, M.D., PVSP; (5) A. Lonigro, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Health Care Services; and (6) M. Dotson, Captain and Chairperson of Classification Committee, PVSP.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

In February 2011, Plaintiff appeared before a classification committee at Solano for the purpose of determining the facility to which Plaintiff should be transferred.. (Compl. at 9.) Plaintiff had recently been categorized as disabled and therefore no longer qualified to remain at Solano. Plaintiff was also a medically high risk inmate and enrolled in the Correctional Clinical Case Management System (CCCMS). (Id. at 10.)

Plaintiff's medical status and enrollment in CCCMS foreclosed PVSP as a safe destination. Valley Fever is a serious disease endemic to the area surrounding PVSP. Inmates with weak immune systems and those categorized as a medical high risk are most susceptible to Valley Fever. (Id. at 10.) Also, PVSP is not open to inmates participating in CCCMS. (Id. at 10, 18.) Defendant Scott was responsible for approving facility transfers. (Id. at 8.) On February 24, 2011, Scott endorsed an order transferring Plaintiff to PVSP. The transfer order acknowledged that Plaintiff was "[h]igh risk," enrolled in CCCMS, and that PVSP was closed to CCCMS prisoners. (Id. at 10, 18.)

On April 6, 2011, Plaintiff arrived at PVSP and Defendant Felton conducted an initial screening. Memos to PVSP health care staff, issued on August 3, 2006 and November 20, 2007, identified categories of inmates who were susceptible to Valley Fever and therefore qualified for medical transfer out of PVSP. (Id. at 11.) Felton was aware of the criteria and determined that Plaintiff was not eligible to be housed at PVSP. He stated that he would draft a report for the Chief Medical Officer. (Id. at 11, 12.) Plaintiff requested a copy of Felton's report on February 7, 2012, and discovered that no such report had been drafted. (Id. at 20.)

Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal on April 6, 2011, complaining that he was at an increased risk for Valley Fever infection. Defendant Chokatos reviewed Plaintiff's appeal at the first level on June 16, 2011, and informed Plaintiff that his coronary artery disease and epilepsy did ...


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