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McKenzie v. Miller

United States District Court, Northern District of California

December 17, 2014

GUSTAVO MCKENZIE, Plaintiff,
v.
D. MILLER; C. NGUYEN; YAMILETH SIMMONS; N. ADAM; L. BREE; D. LAFEVER; S. PENKIAN; S. RISENHOOVER; C. RUSSELL; J. TORRANCE; J. CLARK KELSO, Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK

WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against medical personnel at Pelican Bay State Prison ("PBSP") where he was formerly incarcerated. He is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. For the reasons discussed below, the complaint is 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. 1915A(a). In its review the court must 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 plaintiffs 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

When liberally construed, plaintiffs allegations state cognizable claims that defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, and that they violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for exercising such rights.

CONCLUSION

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

1. 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 Nurse D. Miller; Dr. C. Nguyen; Nurse Yamileth Simmons; Dr. N. Adam; Nurse L. Bree; Optometrist D. Lafever; Nurse S. Penkian; Nurse Practitioner S. Risenhoover; Nurse C. Russell; and Medical Appeals Coordinator J. Torrance at Pelican Bay State Prison, and Receiver J. Clark Kelso. A ...


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