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Jorge Perez v. Edmund G. Brown

May 9, 2013

JORGE PEREZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM WITH LEAVE TO AMEND ECF No. 15 RESPONSE DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

I. Background

Plaintiff Jorge Perez ("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. Plaintiff initiated this action by filing his Complaint in the Northern District of California. On October 25, 2012, the action was transferred to this Court. On December 12, 2012, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint. ECF No. 15. The First Amended Complaint is 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 2 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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a 8 claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual 9 allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary of First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff was incarcerated at California Correctional Institution ("CCI") in Tehachapi, California, where the events giving rise to this action occurred. Plaintiff names as Defendants CCI correctional officers Y. Pantoja and S. Phair.

Plaintiff alleges the following. Plaintiff went to seek medical attention on September 27, 2012. Plaintiff was denied medical attention and was chemically attacked by Defendants. Plaintiff requests as relief: one million dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.

III. Analysis

A.Eighth Amendment -- Medical Care

The Court will construe Plaintiff's medical care claim as arising from the Eighth Amendment. . The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. "The Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (quotation and citation omitted). Prison officials must provide prisoners with adequate food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, medical care, and personal safety. Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731 (9th Cir. 2000). A prisoner's claim of inadequate medical care does not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation unless (1) "the prison official deprived the prisoner of the 'minimal civilized measure of life's necessities,'" and (2) "the prison official 'acted with deliberate indifference in doing so.'" Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1057 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 744 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted)). The deliberate indifference standard involves an objective and a subjective prong. First, the alleged deprivation must be, in objective terms, "sufficiently 2 serious . . . ." Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834 (citing Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991)). Second, 3 the prison official must "know[] of and disregard[] an excessive risk to inmate health or safety . . . ." 4

Id. at 837. 5

"Deliberate indifference is a high legal standard." Toguchi, 391 F.3d at 1060. "Under this 6 standard, the prison official must not only 'be aware of the facts from which the inference could be 7 drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists,' but that person 'must also draw the inference.'" 8 Id. at 1057 (quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837). "'If a prison official should have been aware of the 9 risk, but was not, then the official has not violated the Eighth Amendment, no matter how severe the risk.'" Id. (quoting Gibson v. County of Washoe, Nevada, 290 F.3d 1175, 1188 (9th Cir. 2002)).

Plaintiff fails to allege any facts which indicate that Plaintiff suffered from a serious harm, or that Defendants knew of and disregarded an excessive ...


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