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Holley v. Scott

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 1, 2013

JOEL HOLLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
M. SCOTT, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM (ECF No. 13) CLERK SHALL CLOSE THE CASE

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

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 has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 5.)

Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 1) and First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 11) were screened and dismissed, with leave to amend, on October 31, 2012 and January 29, 2013, respectively, for failure to state cognizable claims. (ECF Nos. 10, 12.) Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (ECF No. 13) 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 SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

The Second Amended Complaint identifies the following prison officials as Defendants: (1) M. Scott, CSR Board Member, California State Prison, Solano (Solano); (2) T. Felton, RN, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP); (3) J. Randle, Correctional Counselor, PVSP; (4) J. Chokatos, M.D., PVSP; (5) A. Lonigro, CEO, Health Care Service, PVSP; and (6) M. Dotson, Classification Committee Member, PVSP.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

Plaintiff is an African American inmate designated as medically high risk for contracting Valley Fever[1] because of his race and health status. On February 24, 2011, Defendant Scott approved Plaintiff's transfer from Solano to PVSP where Valley Fever is endemic. The transfer order, signed by Scott, noted that Plaintiff required a Clinical Care Case Management System (CCCMS)[2] level of medical care and that PVSP was closed to such inmates.[3] (Compl. at 3.) Nevertheless, on April 6, 2011, Plaintiff was transferred to PVSP pursuant to Scott's order.

Defendant Felton conducted an initial medical screening and determined that Plaintiff was not fit to be housed at PVSP. The Chief Medical Officer had issued memorandums on August 3, 2006 and November 20, 2007, informing PVSP medical staff that medically high risk inmates were to be sent before a classification committee and considered for transfer.[4] Felton told Plaintiff that he would draft a chrono advising the Chief Medical Officer that a medical transfer was necessary. Plaintiff requested a copy of Felton's report on February 7, 2012, and was informed that no such report was found. (Id. at 5, 6.)

Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal on April 6, 2011, stating that he was medically high risk and therefore more susceptible to Valley Fever. On April 20, 2011, Plaintiff appeared before an initial classification hearing. Chairperson Dotson and committee member Randle "failed to recognize that Plaintiff was classified as a medical high risk inmate who was more susceptible to the Valley Fever diseases if he remain housed at PVSP." (Id. at 6.) This information was reflected in Plaintiff's central file for consideration.[5] (Id.) However, Defendant Randle failed to "maintain" the information pertaining to Plaintiff's high risk medical status for subsequent review by the ...


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