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Coleman v. Adams

March 30, 2009

SAAHDI COLEMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DERRAL G. ADAMS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Wunderlich United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF EITHER TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT OR TO NOTIFY COURT OF WILLINGNESS TO PROCEED ONLY ON CLAIMS FOUND TO BE COGNIZABLE RESPONSE DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

(Doc. 10)

Plaintiff Saahdi Coleman ("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 is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and was incarcerated at Corcoran Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility in Corcoran, California ("CSTAF") at all times mentioned in his complaint. Plaintiff is suing under section 1983 for the violation of his rights under Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff also alleges state tort claims for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.*fn1 Plaintiff names Derral G. Adams, M. Divine, G. Martinez, J. H. Close, S. Suryadevara, Kyle, Nyugen, Deering, Quezhun, Smith, and Dierra as defendants. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff will be given the opportunity to amend his complaint or proceed only on the claims found cognizable in this order.

I. 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)).

II. Background

A. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed the original complaint in this action on June 29, 2006. (Doc. #1.) Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 14, 2008. (Doc. #10.) This action proceeds on Plaintiff's amended complaint.

B. Factual Background

On September 4, 2003, Plaintiff was transferred to CSATF. Upon arrival, Plaintiff was given a medical screening. Plaintiff advised medical staff that he had a "pre-existing vision problem". (Compl. ¶ 16.) On December 3, 2003, Plaintiff was given a priority ducat to be seen at the specialty clinic. For unspecified reasons, Plaintiff's priority ducat was not honored. Plaintiff filed administrative appeals regarding his medical needs but did not receive a response.

On January 6, 2004, Plaintiff fell while climbing off of his top bunk due to his vision problem. Plaintiff was treated by Defendant Kyle. Defendant Kyle noticed a contusion and swelling on his right hand. Plaintiff was given pain medication and an x-ray of his right hand was ordered. Plaintiff continued to file administrative appeals regarding his medical issues. Plaintiff was interviewed by Defendant Kyle on January 28, 2004. Plaintiff was given an eye exam and was prescribed glasses to correct his vision problem.

On January 30, 2004, Plaintiff fell down a flight of stairs because he had difficulty seeing. Plaintiff suffered injuries to his neck, back, ankle, and re-injured his right hand. On February 2, 2004, Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal complaining of inadequate medical care. Plaintiff was prescribed pain medication and an ankle wrap. However, for unspecified reasons, Plaintiff did not receive pain medication or an ankle wrap. Plaintiff continued to file administrative appeals regarding his injuries from falling down the stairs, his vision problems, and migraines that he began developing.

On February 20, 2004, Plaintiff was examined by Defendant Deering. Plaintiff was given an eye exam. Defendant Deering stated that Plaintiff's vision problems were either not correctable or due to stress. Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal complaining that he was not given adequate medical care. Defendant Smith partially granted Plaintiff's appeal by ordering that Plaintiff be placed on the medical line list. On March 19, 2004, Plaintiff was interviewed by Defendant Quezada. Plaintiff was placed on the optometry list and more x-rays of his right hand were ordered. Plaintiff was told that "there has been a significant time delay for optometric evaluations because the institution does not have an optometrist on contract at this time." (Compl. ¶ 34.) On March 25, 2004, Defendant Divine partially granted one of Plaintiff's administrative appeals. Defendant Divine indicated that Plaintiff received appropriate treatment for his condition.

On April 20, 2004, Plaintiff fell while climbing down his top bunk due to his vision problems. Plaintiff was prescribed pain medication and placed on the list to receive a follow-up examination. Plaintiff filed another administrative appeal on April 26, 2004 claiming that his living conditions were unsafe due to his vision problem. On May 4, 2004, Defendants Nyugen and Martinez partially granted Plaintiff's appeal. However, Plaintiff did not receive treatment for his vision problem. On May 7, 2004, Defendant Close partially granted Plaintiff's administrative appeal. Plaintiff was scheduled for an optometry visit.

On June 2, 2004, Plaintiff was examined by the optometrist at the specialty clinic and was prescribed eye glasses for his vision problem. Plaintiff was examined and treated by Defendant Smith for his ankle pain on June 23, 2004. Plaintiff was billed for his eye glasses on July 1, 2004. On August 4, 2004, Plaintiff was examined at the ...


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