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Allen v. Tyler

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 10, 2017

MICHAEL ALLEN, Plaintiff,
v.
N.P. TYLER; NURSE TIM; NURSE MARK; DR. GAMBOA, Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK

          WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison (“SVSP”), filed this civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging that Defendants - who all work at SVSP - were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. He is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. For the reasons discussed below, the complaint is ordered served upon defendants.

         ANALYSIS

         A. 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). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which 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. at 1915A(b)(1), (2). 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 in order 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 essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         B. Legal Claims

         Plaintiff alleges that he is a disabled inmate confined to a wheelchair. Defendants Defendant Nurse Tim confiscated his wheelchair while showering, which forced him to crawl to his cell. Defendants Nurse Practitioner Tyler and Nurse Mark refused to give him back his wheelchair or otherwise assist him. He could not get up, and despite several requests for medical assistance, he remained on the floor of his cell for the rest of the day and overnight until other prison personnel eventually took him to the hospital. He suffered from pain, cold, and vomiting blood when he was lying on the floor of his cell. After the wheelchair was returned to plaintiff, defendant Gamboa, the Chief Medical Officer at SVSP, heard plaintiff's staff complaint against Tyler and in doing so once again confiscated plaintiff's wheelchair. The wheelchair was later returned to plaintiff when he filed an administrative grievance about Gamboa's decision. When liberally construed, plaintiff's allegations state cognizable claims against the four defendants for deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights.

         CONCLUSION

         For the reasons set out above, it is hereby ordered as follows:

         1. The clerk shall issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, a copy of the complaint with all attachments thereto, and a copy of this order upon defendants Nurse Practitioner Tyler, Nurse Mark, Nurse Tim, and Doctor Gamboa at Salinas Valley State Prison. A courtesy copy of the complaint with ...


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