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Urioste v. Corizon And Centurion Health Care Providers

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

January 8, 2020

JOSHUA URIOSTE, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON AND CENTURION HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, JOSE MARTINEZ, M.D., BEN MARTINEZ, P.A., GERMAN FRANKO, WARDEN, C. OLIVAS, DEPUTY WARDEN, MICHELLE BOYER, GRIEFANCE OFFICER, GREGG MERCANTELL, SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS, C.O. TRUJILLO, C.O. PEREZ, C.O. PALOMINO, UNIT MANAGER OSCAR TRVISO, C.O. CORDOVA, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A on the Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff, Joshua Urioste, on March 15, 2019. (Doc. 24). As is set out, below, the Court will dismiss certain claims and parties and will order issuance of notice and waiver of service forms directed to the remaining Defendants.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Joshua Urioste filed his prisoner civil rights Complaint against all Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Urioste also sought leave to proceed “without paying filing fees or costs.” (Doc. 2). After being ordered to cure deficiencies in his motion to proceed, Urioste filed an amended application to proceed without prepayment of fees or costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Doc. 4, 6). The Court then granted Plaintiff Urioste leave to proceed in forma pauperis under § 1915. (Doc. 9).

         Plaintiff Urioste is proceeding under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1 at 6). In his Complaint, he described the nature of his case as “[d]enial of medical attention and care for Plaintiff's medical issues.” (Doc. 1 at 2). Urioste claimed Defendants subjected the Plaintiff “to needless pain and suffering and thus denying the Plaintiff his right to seek and obtain medical care for his issues, and thus denying the plaintiff equal protection under the law and due process.” (Doc. 1 at 4). He sought declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory damages in the amount of $75, 000 against each Defendant, and punitive damages up to $250, 000 to deter future practices. (Doc. 1 at 8-9).

         On January 18, 2019, the Court entered its Memorandum Opinion and Order dismissing Urioste's claims with leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 22). The Court concluded Urioste's Complaint made only generalized allegations against several defendants and against unspecified groups such as “facility medical staff.” (Doc. 1 at 4). As a result, the Complaint failed to state a sufficient claim for relief under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court granted Urioste an opportunity to amend to remedy the defects in his pleading within 30 days. Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. (Doc. 22 at 12-13).

         Urioste filed his Amended Complaint on March 15, 2019. (Doc. 24). The Amended Complaint was not received by the Court within the 30-day time period ordered by the Court. However, Urioste provided evidence to the Court showing that he mailed his Amended Complaint to the Court within the 30-day deadline, but the mailing was returned to him for unknown reasons, requiring him to re-submit it. (Doc. 23, 24). The Court will accept Urioste's Amended Complaint as timely filed.

         In his Amended Complaint, Urioste names the same Defendants as his original Complaint and adds claims against additional correctional officers. (Doc. 24 at 1, 2). The Amended Complaint contains sufficient factual allegations against some Defendants, but still fails to state a claim for relief against other Defendants. Therefore, the Court will dismiss some of the Defendants as parties to this proceeding and will order issuance of notice and waiver of service forms for the remaining Defendants.

         THE LAW REGARDING FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

         Plaintiff Urioste is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. The Court has the discretion to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint, in whole or in part, sua sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The court may dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim if “it is ‘patently obvious' that the plaintiff could not prevail on the facts alleged.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991) (quoting McKinney v. Oklahoma Dep't of Human Services, 925 F.2d 363, 365 (10th Cir. 1991)). A claim should be dismissed where it is legally or factually insufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). A plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         Under § 1915(e)(2)(B) the court may dismiss the complaint at any time if the court determines the action fails to state a claim for relief or is frivolous or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The authority granted by § 1915 permits the court the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). See also Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. The authority to “pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations” means that a court is not bound, as it usually is when making a determination based solely on the pleadings, to accept without question the truth of the plaintiff's allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). The court is not required to accept the truth of the plaintiff's allegations but, instead, may go beyond the pleadings and consider any other materials filed by the parties, as well as court proceedings subject to judicial notice. Denton, 504 U.S. at 32-33.

         In reviewing a pro se complaint, the Court liberally construes the factual allegations. See Northington v. Jackson, 973 F.2d 1518, 1520-21 (10th Cir. 1992). However, a pro se plaintiff's pleadings are judged by the same legal standards that apply to all litigants and a pro se plaintiff must abide by the applicable rules of court. Ogden v. San Juan County, 32 F.3d 452, 455 (10th Cir. 1994). The court is not obligated to craft legal theories for the plaintiff or to supply factual allegations to support the plaintiff's claims. Nor may the court assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant. Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1110.

         ANALYSIS OF PLAINTIFF URIOSTE'S AMENDED CLAIMS

         A. Claims Against Gregg Marcantell, Secretary of Corrections:

         Plaintiff Urioste again names Gregg Marcantell, Secretary of Corrections for the State of New Mexico, as a Defendant.[1] (Doc. 1 at 1, 2). ...


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