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Hicks v. Gonzales

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

May 29, 2013

DANNY HICKS Plaintiff,
v.
GONZALES, Defendant.

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

On March 15, 2013, Danny Hicks ("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's Complaint is now before the Court for screening. No other parties have appeared in this action.

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. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

Plaintiff is currently housed at California State Prison in Corcoran, California. He was previously housed at "Delano State Prison" in Delano, California, where the events alleged in his Complaint occurred. Plaintiff names Correctional Officer Gonzales as the sole Defendant in this action. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Gonzales violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments in the manner summarized below:

When Plaintiff was in line for his medications on October 11, 2012, Defendant Gonzales asked another inmate of a different race than Plaintiff to stab Plaintiff. Defendant Gonzales told the inmate he would provide the inmate with a knife.

Plaintiff asks for $250, 000 in punitive damages.

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 vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor , 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

To state a claim under § 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. See West v. Atkins , 487 U.S. ...


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