United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF SERVICE
M. RYU UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the security
housing unit at Pelican Bay State Prison
(“PBSP”), has filed a pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, stemming
from alleged constitutional violations at PBSP. Dkt. 1. He
names the following Defendants: California Correctional
Health Care Services (“CCHCS”) Receiver J. Clarke
Kelso; PBSP Chief Medical Executive J. Bal; PBSP Chief
Executive Officer Maureen McLean; PBSP Physicians M. Sayre
and Nancy Adams; and PBSP Nurse Practitioner Laurie Thomas.
Plaintiff alleges that the named Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs. Id. at 3-9.
Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief as well as
monetary damages. Id. at 10.
matter has been assigned to the undersigned Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction.
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis will
be granted in a separate written Order.
is proper because the events giving rise to the claims are
alleged to have occurred at PBSP, which is located in this
judicial district. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
Standard of Review
federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a prisoner seeks 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 that
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. §
1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally
construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police
Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).
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 violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Needs
indifference to serious medical needs violates the Eighth
Amendment’s proscription against cruel and unusual
punishment. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976); McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th
Cir. 1992), overruled on other grounds, WMX
Technologies, Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th
Cir. 1997) (en banc); Jones v. Johnson, 781 F.2d
769, 771 (9th Cir. 1986). A determination of
“deliberate indifference” involves an examination
of two elements: the seriousness of the prisoner’s
medical need and the nature of the defendant’s response
to that need. See McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1059. A
“serious” medical need exists if the failure to
treat a prisoner’s condition could result in further
significant injury or the “unnecessary and wanton
infliction of pain.” Id. (citing Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at 104). A prison official is
deliberately indifferent if he or she knows that a prisoner
faces a substantial risk of serious harm and disregards that
risk by failing to take reasonable steps to abate it.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). Here,
when liberally construed, Plaintiff’s allegations state
cognizable claims that the named Defendants violated his
rights under the Eighth Amendment by being deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs.