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Synrico Rodgers v. C.C. Martin

January 23, 2013

SYNRICO RODGERS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
C.C. MARTIN, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO NOTIFY COURT OF WILLINGNESS TO PROCEED ON PREVIOUSLY IDENTIFIED COGNIZABLE CLAIMS OR DISMISS ACTION (ECF No. 7, 8) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE SECOND SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Synrico Rodgers is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action filed October 15, 2012 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff consented to extend Magistrate Judge jurisdiction for all purposes and proceedings. (Consent to Magistrate, ECF No. 6.)

The Court screened Plaintiff's Complaint on November 19, 2012, and finding cognizable First Amendment retaliation and Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against Defendants Martin and Blattel, but no other claims, ordered Plaintiff to either file a first amended complaint or notify the Court of his willingness to proceed only on the cognizable claims. (Order re Amend or Notify, ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint on December 10, 2012. (First Am. Comp., ECF No. 8.) The First Amended 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 FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges that, on November 29, 2010, while housed at Corcoran State Prison ("CSP"), he was "bird bathing"*fn1 in his cell with his window partially covered with a blanket so that Defendant Martin, a female, would not see him naked; while he was "defending [himself] from being exposed" Defendant Martin stated to Defendant Blattel to "spray the Black Bastard", whereupon Defendants pepper sprayed him, even though he "did not pose a threat at all to the officers", and left him without decontamination in the contaminated cell. (First Am. Compl. at § IV.) He alleges this use of force "was done maliciously and sadistically to inflict harm and extreme pain." (Id.)

Plaintiff names as Defendants (1) Martin, CSP Correctional Officer, and (2) Blattel, CSP Correctional Officer. (Id. at § III.)

Plaintiff seeks monetary compensation. (Id. at § V.)

IV. ANALYSIS

A. Pleading Requirements Generally

To state a claim under Section 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. ...


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