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Anderson v. Alameda County Sheriff Office

United States District Court, N.D. California

February 6, 2014

DAVID LEE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF OFFICE; HOWARD JORDAN; CORIZON HEALTH SERVICES, et al., Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE

WILLIAM ALSUP, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Santa Rita County Jail proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. 1983. He is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. For the reasons discussed below, the complaint is dismissed as to one named defendant and ordered served upon the other two defendants.

ANALYSIS

A. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. 1915(a). In its review the court mist identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only "give the defendant fair notice of what the.... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations, ... a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 1974.

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. 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 deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

B. LEGAL CLAIMS

Plaintiff claims that he received inadequate medical care for his knee at Santa Rita Jail, which is run by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. Plaintiff alleges that he was shot in the knee while being arrested in November 2012. He was transported to Highland Hospital, where he received medical attention. Two days later he was sent to Santa Rita Jail with instructions from the hospital's attending physician that he had an urgent need for surgery to remove the bullet that was still lodged in his knee. Despite numerous requests to jail officials and employees of Corizon Health Services (which is contracted to provide medical care for jail inmates), he did not receive the surgery until July 2013. The delay has caused irreparable damage and disfigurement to his knee preventing him from walking without a crutch, and he has been informed that he may need follow-up surgery. When liberally construed, plaintiff's allegations state cognizable claims for the violation of his Eighth Amendment rights by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department and Corizon Health Services. Plaintiff lists Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan as a defendant but alleges no conduct or involvement by Jordan related to the alleged failure to treat his knee. Therefore, the claims against defendant Jordan will be dismissed.

CONCLUSION

For the reasons set out above, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. The claims against defendant Howard Jordan are Dismissed.

2. The clerk shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of the complaint with all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon defendants Alameda County Sheriff's Department and Corizon Health Services at the Santa Rita County Jail. A courtesy copy of the complaint with ...


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