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Watts v. Remington

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 8, 2017

ERIC WATTS, Plaintiff,
v.
CAL REMINGTON et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE

          JACQELINE SCOTT CORLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Maple Street Correctional Center (“MSCC”) in Redwood City, California, filed this pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against two MSCC employees, Cal Remington and Dr. Douglas Spencer.[1] Plaintiff filed the complaint in the Eastern District of California, and the case was transferred to this Court. Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted in a separate order. For the reasons explained below, the complaint is ordered served upon Defendants.

         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). The Court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b). 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 to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's 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 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).

         LEGAL CLAIMS

         Plaintiff alleges that he was given the wrong medication on January 26, 2017, and when he told the nurse, she said he should “just take them.” Plaintiff alleges that Remington is a “medical supervisor” and Spencer is a doctor, and that they were both aware of the “mistakes” by jail medical staff in dispensing the wrong medications. Plaintiff alleges that “a lot of this kind of negligence has been going on.” These allegations are liberally construed to claim that Defendants were aware of a common problem at the jail that medications were being incorrectly dispensed to inmates and failed to take action to stop this problem from continuing, which led to Plaintiff receive the wrong medication. So construed, the allegations are sufficient to state a cognizable claim for deliberate indifference to his medical needs at MSCC, in violation of his constitutional rights. See Henry A. v. Willden, 678 F.3d 991, 1003-04 (9th Cir. 2012) (supervisor may be liable under Section 1983 where there is sufficient causal connection between supervisor's conduct and constitutional violation); Carnell v. Grimm, 74 F.3d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1996) (standard of deliberate indifference applicable to pretrial detainees' medical claims).

         CONCLUSION

         1. The Clerk shall issue a summons and Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, the summons, Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, a copy of the complaint with attachments, and a copy of this order on Cal Remington and Dr. Douglas Spencer at the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

         The Clerk shall also mail a courtesy copy of the Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, the complaint with all attachments and a copy of this order to the San Mateo County Counsel's Office.

         2. Defendants shall complete and file the Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form within the deadline provided on the form. They shall also file an answer in ...


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