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Lee v. Scribner

April 1, 2010


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


Plaintiff Bobby Lee ("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 ("CDCR") and is currently incarcerated at the California State Prison in Lancaster, California. However, the events described in Plaintiff's complaint took place while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the California State Prison in Corcoran, California ("CSP-Corcoran"). Plaintiff is suing under section 1983 for the violation of his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff names A.K. Scribner (warden), D. Ortiz (associate warden), R. Beceara (counselor), M.C. Poulos (associate warden), Stockman (chief deputy warden), L. C. Chrones (chief deputy warden), Carriedo (counselor), Spriester (counselor), Mears (counselor), Cordero (counselor), and Wagner (doctor) as defendants. Plaintiff has consented to jurisdiction by U.S. Magistrate Judge and no other parties have made an appearance in this action.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff's second amended complaint states some cognizable claims. Plaintiff's remaining claims will be dismissed without leave to amend.

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).

In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under 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)(2). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

II. Background

A. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed the original complaint in this action on June 20, 2005. (Doc. #1.) On November 19, 2007, Plaintiff's original complaint was screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). (Doc. #16.) The Court found that Plaintiff's original complaint failed to state any cognizable claims against any defendant. Plaintiff was given leave to file an amended complaint which cured the deficiencies identified in the screening order. Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint on December 27, 2007. (Doc. #20.) On May 1, 2009, the Court screened Plaintiff's first amended complaint. The Court noted that Plaintiff's first amended complaint did not comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and failed to state any claims upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff was given another opportunity to amend his complaint. On June 1, 2009, Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint. (Doc. #27.) This action proceeds on Plaintiff's second amended complaint.

B. Factual Background

On June 23, 2003, Plaintiff was transferred to CSP-Corcoran and housed in the secured housing unit ("SHU"). Plaintiff was placed in the SHU based on Plaintiff's possible participation in an assault on a staff member at Salinas Valley State Prison.

On June 24, 2003, MTA Oneil was passing out medication. Plaintiff explained that he has prescribed medication, Remron and Prozac, but Oneil ignored him.

On July 3, 2003, Plaintiff appeared before the "IV-B SHU ICC." Plaintiff informed the committee that he was being deprived of his medication "for retaliation from correctional officers." From July to August 2003, Plaintiff spoke with Defendant Wagner about being denied his medication. Wagner failed to take the necessary steps to get Plaintiff back on his medication.

On August 15, 2003, Plaintiff spoke with an unidentified doctor about his medication. Plaintiff told the doctor that the deprivation of his medications "was causing Plaintiff excruciating side affects[sic] and driving him crazy." Plaintiff complained that he was housed in a building which was not fit for inmates with mental health needs. Plaintiff also complained about a loss in body weight and that staff members were retaliating against him. The doctor informed Plaintiff that he would look into the matter. The ...

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