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Sonny Martinez v. Selma Police Department

March 28, 2013

SONNY MARTINEZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SELMA POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANT.



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

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

On February 6, 2013, Plaintiff Sonny Martinez ("Plaintiff"), an individual proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff appears to be a pretrial detainee.*fn1 Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 4.)

Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)

I. 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 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).

A complaint must 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

II. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is currently housed at the Fresno County Jail. The events at issue in his Complaint occurred at the City of Selma Jail in Selma, California. Plaintiff names the Selma Police Department as the sole Defendant in this action.

Plaintiff's allegations are as follows:

Plaintiff was arrested on January 20, 2013. He attempted to hang himself in his cell Even though there was a camera near his cell, no one saw him or came to help him. Plaintiff ultimately changed his mind, but nevertheless fell to the floor. He called for help but no one arrived to help him for ten minutes.

Plaintiff requests that the Court order that the Selma Police Department be investigated and determine why no one came to Plaintiff's aid in a timely fashion.

III. ANALYSIS

A. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Claims

42 U.S.C. § 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). § 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for ...


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