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Becker v. Lopez

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

June 28, 2019

MARK VINCENT BECKER, #A4008102, Plaintiff,
v.
JENIFER LOPEZ, CAROLINE MEE, MAUI CMTY. CORR. CTR., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Mark Vincent Becker's prisoner civil rights Complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Becker alleges that Defendants Maui Community Correctional Center (“MCCC”); MCCC physician, Dr. Carolyn Mee; and MCCC nurse, Jenifer Lopez, violated his civil rights while he was a pretrial detainee at MCCC. Becker is now incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”).

         For the following reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a colorable claim for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Becker may file an amended pleading on or before July 26, 2019.

         I. STATUTORY SCREENING

         The court must conduct a pre-Answer screening of all prisoners' pleadings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Claims or complaints that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or seek damages from defendants who are immune from suit must be dismissed. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc); Rhodes v. Robi nson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010).

         Screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a) involves the same standard of review as that used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Wati son v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012); Wi lhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. The “mere possibility of misconduct” or an “unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation” falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id. at 678-79; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “requires only ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gi bson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “Specific facts are not necessary.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). The court must accept the allegations of the complaint as true, i d. at 94, and construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds by Davi s v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984).

         Pro se litigants' pleadings must be liberally construed and all doubts should be resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). The court must grant leave to amend if it appears the plaintiff can correct the defects in the complaint, Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130, but if a claim or complaint cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal with prejudice is appropriate. Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A., 729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).

         II. BACKGROUND [1]

         Becker complained of dizziness and headaches for approximately six weeks after he was admitted as a pretrial detainee at MCCC, in or about late 2017 or early 2018.[2] Becker alleges these symptoms were caused by Dr. Mee's and Lopez's refusal to give him a full dosage of Coumadin, a blood thinner. He claims that Dr. Mee and Lopez told him that MCCC policy requires that inmates receiving Coumadin are started on a lower dose that is slowly increased until it reaches the appropriate dosage level. Becker says that Dr. Mee has no knowledge of cardiology, and asserts that this was confirmed by the “State[']s cardiologist visit (Aloha Cardiology)” and by the CAT Scan that he received on January 19, 2019, at the Pali Momi Medical Center, which revealed that he had suffered a stroke as a result of a blood clot. Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #4. Becker does not allege when he suffered a stroke. He seeks $500, 000 in damages.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Becker brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges Lopez and Dr. Mee violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (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).

         Section 1983 also requires an actual connection or link between a defendant's actions and the plaintiff's alleged deprivation. See Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 692 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976); May v. Enomoto, 633 F.2d 165, 167 (9th Cir. 1980). “A person ‘subjects' another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made.” Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). A plaintiff must allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of a particular defendant's conduct and an affirmative link between the injury and the violation of his rights.

         A. Eleventh ...


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