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Flowers v. Cryer

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 6, 2017

RUBEN FLOWERS, Plaintiff,
v.
C. CRYER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 1)

          MICHAEL J. SENG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His complaint is before the Court for screening.

         I. 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, malicious, ” or 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).

         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 incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison (“SVSP”), but complains of acts that occurred at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (“SATF”), California Correctional Institution (“CCI”), and SVSP. He names the following defendants: (1) C. Cryer, Medical CEO at SATF; (2) M. Frite, Medical CEO at SATF; (3) M. Carrasquillo, R.N. at SATF, and (4) “et; al.” [sic] medical staff at SATF, CCI, and SVSP.

         His allegations may be summarized essentially as follows:

         Plaintiff suffers from severe back, neck, and shoulder pain. He has suffered extreme pain for five years. He was treated for a time, but complained of side effects. Then, “they” stopped treating him. As a result, his conditions deteriorated, and he suffers constant pain.

         Defendant Frite “was made aware” of Plaintiff's condition on more than one occasion but did nothing. Defendant Carrasquillo “usurped the authority of her position, ” and stated that Plaintiff couldn't be in pain because he wasn't crying. She denied Plaintiff's requests to see a doctor. She did nothing to treat him.

         Plaintiff claims violations of his Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care and his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process. He seeks money damages.

         IV. Analysis

         A. Doe ...


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