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Taylor v. Clair

December 4, 2009

AMETHEUS TAYLOR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. J. ST. CLAIR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING ACTION, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983

(Doc. 15)

Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff Ametheus Taylor, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 1, 2008. On February 6, 2009, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint, with leave to amend, for failure to state any claims. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on May 14, 2009.

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).

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)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Id. at 1949.

II. Plaintiff's Claims

A. Summary of Amended Complaint

Plaintiff is currently housed at the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, California. This is an action for money damages against the State of California, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate, and Doctors St. Clair, Smith, Lovett, Howard, and Thomatos for the violation of Plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

On September 9, 2007, Plaintiff was working the Lick Fire in Gilroy, California, cutting a fire line around residential homes. Plaintiff and other inmates were required to keep working even after the sun went down and it was dark outside. The only available light was coming from the light on Plaintiff's helmet when he stepped on a stob,*fn1 causing his knee to pop loudly. Plaintiff stumbled and then slipped down the mountain, injuring his knee. Plaintiff was subsequently told by Captain Fisher that they would not be able to get him to a doctor until the next morning.

On September 10, 2007, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Howard, who prescribed "minimal" pain medication in order to "minimize" Plaintiff's injuries and justify the "deliberate indifference" to his needs. (Doc. 15, Amend. Comp., court record p. 6.) Plaintiff was also given crutches. Plaintiff complained of increased pain, but was told by Dr. Howard that his pain would decrease if he moved his knee more. Moving his knee produced more pain, and Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Howard chose the course of treatment in conscious disregard of his pain. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Howard did not have an MRI done until a week later.

On September 15, 2007, Plaintiff received an MRI, which showed a fracture, and torn tendons and ligaments.

Plaintiff was seen by Dr. St. Clair on September 26, 2007. Plaintiff alleges Dr. St. Clair refused to prescribe the "right" amount of pain medication, told Plaintiff his knee was just swollen despite the MRI results, and ...


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