United States District Court, N.D. California, Eureka Division
JEWEL E. DYER, Plaintiff,
TIMOTHY PEARCE, et al., Defendants.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND DKT. NO.
J. VADAS United States Magistrate Judge
a detainee, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court granted plaintiff's
motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 9.)
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
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, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (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, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A
complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id.
at 570. The United States Supreme Court has recently
explained the “plausible on its face” standard of
Twombly: “While legal conclusions can provide
the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by
factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
679 (2009). 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).
alleges that he is receiving inadequate medical care, the
water in the jail is giving him a rash and adversely
affecting his health and he is being denied access to the
indifference to serious medical needs violates the Eighth
Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual
punishment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976); McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th
Cir. 1992), overruled on other grounds, WMX Technologies,
Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir. 1997) (en
banc). A determination of “deliberate
indifference” involves an examination of two elements:
the seriousness of the prisoner's medical need and the
nature of the defendant's response to that need.
Id. at 1059.
“serious” medical need exists if the failure to
treat a prisoner's condition could result in further
significant injury or the “unnecessary and wanton
infliction of pain.” Id. The existence of an
injury that a reasonable doctor or patient would find
important and worthy of comment or treatment; the presence of
a medical condition that significantly affects an
individual's daily activities; or the existence of
chronic and substantial pain are examples of indications that
a prisoner has a “serious” need for medical
treatment. Id. at 1059-60.
prison official is deliberately indifferent if he or she
knows that a prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious
harm and disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable
steps to abate it. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
837 (1994). The prison official must not only “be aware
of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, ” but he
“must also draw the inference.” Id. If a
prison official should have been aware of the risk, but was
not, then the official has not violated the Eighth Amendment,
no matter how severe the risk. Gibson v. County of
Washoe, 290 F.3d 1175, 1188 (9th Cir. 2002). “A
difference of opinion between a prisoner-patient and prison
medical authorities regarding treatment does not give rise to
a § 1983 claim.” Franklin v. Oregon, 662
F.2d 1337, 1344 (9th Cir. 1981).
who sue prison officials for injuries suffered while in
custody may do so under the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and
Unusual Punishment Clause or, if not yet convicted, under the
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. See Bell
v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979); Castro v.
Cnty. of Los Angeles, 833 F.3d 1060, 1067-68 (9th Cir.
2016) (en banc). But under both clauses, the inmate must show
that the prison official acted with deliberate indifference.
Id. at 1068.
have a constitutional right of access to the courts. See
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 350 (1996); Bounds v.
Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821 (1977). To establish a claim
for any violation of the right of access to the courts, the
prisoner must prove that there was an inadequacy in the
prison's legal access program that caused him an actual
injury. See Lewis, 518 U.S. at 350-55. To prove an
actual injury, the prisoner must show that the inadequacy in
the prison's program hindered his efforts to pursue a
non-frivolous claim concerning his conviction or conditions
of confinement. See Id. at 354-55.
states that he has been refused treatment, however he fails
to discuss what treatment was refused and the underlying
medical problems. He has also failed to identify the actions
of any specific defendants. Similarly, plaintiff states that
he was denied access to the courts, but fails to provide any
details. Nor has he provided specific allegations regarding
how the facility water is harming him and what if any steps
he has taken in discussing this with jail officials. The
complaint is dismissed with leave to amend. Plaintiff must