The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOLLOWING SCREENING OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Doc. 20)
OBJECTION DUE WITHIN TWENTY DAYS
Findings and Recommendations Following Screening of First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff Anthony Ramos ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on May 21, 2007. On August 26, 2008, the undersigned dismissed Plaintiff's complaint, with leave to amend. (Doc. 14.) Now pending before the Court is Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed September 29, 2008. (Doc. 15.)
II. Screening Requirement
The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "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)).
III. Summary of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff is currently housed at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California. It is unclear from reading Plaintiff's first amended complaint where the events at issue in this action occurred. Plaintiff names M.T.A. Kateley and Correctional Officer Childress as defendants. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Childress falsified an administrative medical appeal and that defendant Kateley failed to assure that Plaintiff was not denied medical treatment. Plaintiff alleges that he was denied medical treatment and that he suffered pain and discomfort as a result. Plaintiff alleges a violation of his Due Process rights and also the Eighth Amendment.
A. Eighth Amendment Medical Care Claim
"[T]o maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on prison medical treatment, an inmate must show 'deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.'" Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 295 (1976)). The two part test for deliberate indifference requires the plaintiff to show (1) "'a serious medical need' by demonstrating that 'failure to treat a prisoner's condition could result in further significant injury or the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,'" and (2) "the defendant's response to the need was deliberately indifferent." Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096 (quoting McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 1992), overruled on other grounds, WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) (internal quotations omitted)). Deliberate indifference is shown by "a purposeful act or failure to respond to a prisoner's pain or possible medical need, and harm caused by the indifference." Id. (citing McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1060). Deliberate indifference may be manifested "when prison officials deny, delay or intentionally interfere with medical treatment, or it may be shown by the way in which prison physicians provide medical care." Id. (citing McGuckin at 1060 (internal quotations omitted)). Where a prisoner is alleging a delay in receiving medical treatment, the delay must have led to further harm in order for the prisoner to make a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. McGuckin at 1060 (citing Shapely v. Nevada Bd. of State Prison Comm'rs, 766 F.2d 404, 407 (9th Cir. 1985)).
"[T]he existence of an injury that a reasonable doctor would find important and worthy of comment or treatment, . . . the presence of a medical condition that significantly affects an individual's daily activities, and . . . the existence of chronic or substantial pain" are indications of a serious medical need. Doty v. County of Lassen, 37 F.3d 540, 546 n.3 (9th Cir. 1994) (citing McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1059-1060); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000).
Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim. First, Plaintiff has not alleged a serious medical need. Doty, 37 F.3d 540 at546 n.3. Plaintiff alleges that he suffered extreme physical pain and discomfort from the denial of medical care; however, Plaintiff does not state that he suffered from any injury or medical condition indicative of a serious medical need. Second, Plaintiff's allegation that defendant KATELEY failed to assure that Plaintiff was not denied medical treatment, and that defendant Childress falsified an administrative medical appeal, without more, does not ...