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Page v. State

August 19, 2008

SAMMY L. PAGE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING THAT THIS ACTION BE DISMISSED FOR PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

(Doc. 29)

Findings and Recommendations

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Sammy Page ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 12132 (Americans with Disabilities Act). Plaintiff, a detainee at Coalinga State Hospital in Coalinga, California, filed this action on January 26, 2006. On October 23, 2007, plaintiff's complaint was dismissed with leave to amend. Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint on November 15, 2007. Plaintiff is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for claims arising out of the conditions of his confinement at the hospital.

"Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). "Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).

Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

II. Summary of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint

Plaintiff alleges a claim for relief against the State of California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Department of Mental Health Director Stephen Mayberg, Coalinga State Hospital Executive Director Norm Kramer, Psychologist David M. Wangi, Clinical Psychologist John Hupka, and Clinical Psychologist Jeremy Coles. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief enjoining defendants from violating his constitutional rights. Plaintiff alleges claims against all defendants in their official capacities.

Plaintiff's claim against the State of California is barred because the state is entitled to immunity from suit in federal court. Aholelei v. Dept. of Public Safety, 488 F.3d 1144, 1147 (9th Cir. 2007).

A. Plaintiff's Claims Regarding His Psychiatric Diagnosis and Re-commitment

Plaintiff alleges that the facility's psychiatric supports and services have substantially departed from generally accepted professional standards of care. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Schwarzenegger, Mayberg, and Kramer failed to contract qualified psychiatrists for residential treatment conferences, and that all defendants have failed to provide adequate and appropriate psychiatric treatment planning. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Mayberg, Kramer, Hupka and Coles failed to provide a valid and reliable diagnosis. Plaintiff contends that "paraphilia nos-non-consent", with which he has been diagnosed, is not a recognized disorder, and that his re-commitment by defendants Hupka, Cole, with the endorsement of defendant Mayberg, is therefore a violation of Due Process. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief enjoining defendants from continuing the "acts, omissions, and practices" as detailed above.

The inadequacy of remedies at law is a prerequisite to the issuance of equitable relief, and a petition for writ of habeas corpus may become an adequate remedy where future wrongful prosecution is feared, such as further re-commitment. O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 502 (1974); see also Page v. Finnberg, 2008 WL 2951332 (9th Cir CA, 2008).

In O'Shea, two plaintiffs brought a civil rights action alleging that defendants had engaged under color of state law, in a continuing pattern and practice of conduct consisting of illegal bond-setting, sentencing, and jury-fee practices in criminal cases. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief to ...


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