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Gonzales v. Mims

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 1, 2014

LEONARD QUIROZ GONZALES, Plaintiff,
v.
MARGARET MIMS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Doc. 11.)

GARY S. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

Leonard Quiroz Gonzales ("Plaintiff") is an inmate at the Fresno County Jail, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on July 12, 2013. (Doc. 1.) The court screened the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and issued an order on January 15, 2014, dismissing the Complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. (Doc. 10.) On January 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint, which is now before the court for screening. (Doc. 11.)

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 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 is required to 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal 556 U.S. at 678. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id . The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

III. SUMMARY OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is presently in custody at the Fresno County Jail in Fresno, California, where the events at issue in the First Amended Complaint allegedly occurred. Plaintiff names as defendants Margaret Mims, Dr. Than Aw, and the Medical Staff at Fresno County Jail. Plaintiff's factual allegations follow, in their entirety:

"Dr. Than Aw denying me the medical attention I so need. Regard having my prosthesis repaired. I wear a ( sic ) artificial limb on my left leg and not giving me the necessary treatment for the pain I am suffering, and not giving me the necessary handi cap ( sic ) accomadations ( sic ) such as a wheel chair with brakes and also a cell with handi cap ( sic ) railings in the shower and rest room. And by my prosthesis not being fixed, it is causing more pain on my left stump-knee cap and left hip area." (First Amended Complaint at 3 ¶IV.) Plaintiff requests injunctive relief.

IV. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:

Every person who, under color of [state law]... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States... to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution... shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

42 U.S.C. § 1983. "Section 1983... creates a cause of action for violations of the federal Constitution and laws." Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho , 119 F.3d 1385, 1391 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotations omitted). "To the extent that the violation of a state law amounts to the deprivation of a state-created interest that reaches beyond that guaranteed by the federal Constitution, Section 1983 offers no redress." Id.

To state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant acted under color of state law and (2) the defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal law. Long v. County of Los Angeles , 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006). "A person subjects' another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made." Johnson v. Duffy , 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). "The requisite causal connection can be established not only by some kind of direct, personal participation in the ...


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