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Cranford v. Pullion

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 4, 2016

ARCHIE CRANFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
ALEXANDRA PULLION, Defendant.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

          MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF Nos. 1 & 6.) His complaint is before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement

         The in forma pauperis statute provides, “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).

         II. Pleading Standard

         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).

         To state a claim under § 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. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

         A complaint must 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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 677-78.

         III. Plaintiff’s Allegations

         Plaintiff is detained at Coalinga State Hospital, where the acts giving rise to his complaint occurred. He names Alexandra Pullion as the sole defendant in this action. His allegations may be summarized essentially as follows:

         On July 10, 2016, Plaintiff experienced chest pain. He approached Defendant regarding his pain, and Defendant refused him treatment. Plaintiff was forced to endure his chest pain “until it ended.” Plaintiff was unable to function for a “pur longed” amount of time.

         Plaintiff seeks money damages and injunctive relief.

         IV. Analysis

         The Fourteenth Amendment provides the standard for evaluating the constitutionally protected interests of individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a state facility. Rivera v. Rogers, 224 Fed.Appx. 148, 150-51 (3d Cir. 2007); see Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 312 (1982). Such individuals are “entitled to more considerate treatment and conditions of confinement than criminals whose conditions of confinement are designed to punish.” Youngberg, 457 U.S. at 321-22. In determining whether the constitutional rights of an involuntarily committed individual have been violated, the court must balance ...


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