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Patrick v. Petroff

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 30, 2017

NICHOLAS PATRICK, Plaintiff,
v.
PETROFF, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 20)

          MICHAEL J. SENG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 20.)

         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

         At all times relevant to this action, Plaintiff was a state inmate housed at Wasco State Prison in Wasco, California. He names the following individuals as Defendants: Correctional Officers (“CO”) Petroff, Ball, Picazo, Knight, Hurd, Priest, Reynaga, Showers, Look, Bracken, Moyes, Dominguez, Coca, Ziegler, Nieto, Martinez, Figueroa, Gonzalez (male), and Gonzalez (female); Drs. Ramos, Patel, Lane, and Cowen; Nurse Castle; Law Librarians Meeks and Murrieta; and Appeals Coordinator Feliciano, as well as a mailroom employee named “Niomi.”

         Plaintiff asserts numerous separate claims, which can be summarized essentially as follows:

         In violation of Plaintiff's First Amendment rights, (1) Law Librarian Murrieta signed and sealed envelopes address to the ACLU, several law firms, the FBI, and Appeals Coordinator Feliciano, for which Plaintiff apparently never received a response; (2) CO Ziegler refused to seal and sign three envelopes addressed to civil lawyers; (3) mailroom employee Niomi failed to document that Plaintiff received correspondence from the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers; (4) COs Petroff and Rios failed to document envelopes that were signed; (5) Petroff purposely misplaced mail containing Plaintiff's trust account statement; (6) Appeals Coordinator Feliciano and/or CO Ziegler and/or Niomi were responsible for sending and receiving Plaintiff's mail, but seemingly failed to fulfill this duty; (7) Murrieta refused to send mail to civil law firms because they were not addressed to the Court; (8) CO Look did not like Plaintiff outsmarting him; and (9) Law Librarian Meeks sealed and signed envelopes addressed to the ACLU and the FBI.

         In violation of Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights, (1) Meeks failed to call Plaintiff down to the library as a Priority Library User (“PLU”), and Plaintiff believes Meeks and Ziegler are both homosexual; (2) CO Hurd refused to give Plaintiff a CDCR Form 7362 so that Plaintiff could request mental health services; (3) when Plaintiff requested a CDCR Form 22, Hurd only gave Plaintiff the first page; (4) Plaintiff was repeatedly denied access to the library even though he had PLU status, and Plaintiff believes CO Ziegler is responsible; (5) when Plaintiff sought mental health services from Dr. Cowen, COs Ziegler, Reynaga, and Knight interrupted Plaintiff's sessions and intimidated Dr. Cowen; (6) Dr. Patel conducted Plaintiff's medical exam in the medical trailer instead of the medical clinic, for which Plaintiff believes Ziegler is responsible; (7) Ziegler told kitchen staff to give Plaintiff smaller portions at dinner because of Plaintiff's race and single cell status; (8) because CO Hurd is, as Plaintiff believes, gay, he treats Plaintiff unfairly; (9) CO Nieto led Plaintiff to believe that Plaintiff had $437.50 in his trust account, however Plaintiff was told he had insufficient funds in his account when he attempted to purchase something; (10) COs Nieto, Hurd, Reynaga, Ziegler, and Hernandez “played” with Plaintiff regarding his available funds; (11) CO Ziegler, Dr. Cowen, and Counselor Lane failed to interview Plaintiff for programming, purposely hindering Plaintiff from being transferred to a program; (12) CO Priest made Plaintiff take a urine test even though Plaintiff has no history of drug or alcohol use while at Wasco State Prison; (13) as Plaintiff was unable to urinate, CO Showers threatened to issue an RVR if Plaintiff did not urinate within three hours, and within three hours Plaintiff was found “guilty” and mandated to undergo urine tests once a month for a year; (14) Reynaga arranged for Plaintiff to be subjected to random urine tests in retaliation for Plaintiff's civil rights suit; and (15) at Plaintiff's hearing for his fighting offense, Figueroa refused to listen to Plaintiff's request for more time to address his mail issues.

         In violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights, (1) COs Martinez and Gonzalez (male) allowed Plaintiff to get into a fight with another inmate because they enjoyed watching it; (2) Martinez failed to give Plaintiff his lunch after Plaintiff returned from receiving medical treatment; (3) Dr. Ramos stapled a gash in Plaintiff's head without giving Plaintiff any warning while CO Moyes watched; (3) Plaintiff was left with the staple in his head for nearly three months; and (4) COs Hurd and Bracken pulled ...


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