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Raven v. Bannister

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 23, 2014

DANNY RAVEN, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT BANNISTER, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

This pro se prisoner civil rights action by a Nevada state inmate comes before the court for initial review of the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and on plaintiff's motion (#3) for appointment of counsel. The court defers action on the pauper application at this time.

Screening

When a "prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, " the court must "identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

In considering whether the plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted, all material factual allegations in the complaint are accepted as true for purposes of initial review and are to be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff . See, e.g., Russell v. Landrieu, 621 F.2d 1037, 1039 (9th Cir. 1980). However, mere legal conclusions unsupported by any actual allegations of fact are not assumed to be true in reviewing the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-81 (2009). That is, conclusory assertions that constitute merely formulaic recitations of the elements of a cause of action and that are devoid of further factual enhancement are not accepted as true and do not state a claim for relief. Id.

Further, the factual allegations must state a plausible claim for relief, meaning that the well-pleaded facts must permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct:

[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [ Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).] A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id., at 556.... The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement, " but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Ibid. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id., at 557... (brackets omitted).
... [W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not "show[n]" - "that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(a)(2).

Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

Allegations of a pro se complainant are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).

In the present case, plaintiff Danny Raven presents a number of claims based upon nurses at High Desert State Prison ("High Desert") allegedly having given him improperly high doses of, purportedly, insulin when he was having a diabetic episode by giving him a product called "Glutose 15" when he already was unconscious. He names as defendants state corrections department medical administrator Robert Bannister and the prison warden Dwight Neven, together with nurses Debra, Sonya, and Murphy, all in both their individual and official capacities. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and he further asks that the court review and investigate the medical procedures at the prison for administration of insulin.

In count I, plaintiff alleges initially that his "14th amendment rights were violated due to lack of medical training and medical care causing serious medical complication[s] do [sic] to over-dose of insulin treatment(s)." In the body of the count, however, he does refer further to eighth amendment protections. Plaintiff alleges in pertinent part that nurse Debra did the following:

.... Plaintiff Raven states that HDSP Nurse Debra serious[ly] violated professional medical standards and medical policy when she intentionally applied "Glutose" 15 which is used to treat low blood sugar. However, HDSP Nurse Debra used her own independent judgment by violating the warning lable [sic] on the Glutose 15 bottle [which] clearly states[: "]do not administer or apply to anyone ...

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