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Arreola v. Dudley

July 29, 2010

OSCAR ARREOLA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
G. DUDLEY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Michael Seabright United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, AN UNENUMERATED MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

On April 15, 2008, pro se Plaintiff Oscar Arreola ("Plaintiff") filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On April 5, 2010, Defendant G. Dudley ("Defendant") filed a Rule 12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or, in the alternative, an Unenumerated Rule 12(b) Motion to Dismiss ("Defendant's Motion"). Defendant argues that Plaintiff fails to state a claim because his cause of action arises out Defendant's review of his administrative appeal, which cannot give rise to a claim. In the alternative, Defendant argues that Plaintiff failed to properly exhaust his administrative appeals against Defendant. Contrary to Defendant's assertions, Plaintiff states a claim arising out of Defendant's failure to respond to requests for medical treatment, and he has fully exhausted this claim. Therefore, for the following reasons, the court DENIES Defendant's Motion.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

In 2005, Plaintiff was diagnosed with Hepatitis C while incarcerated at Centinela State Prison. Compl. at 8; id. Ex. A at 3.*fn1 On February 18, 2006, Plaintiff was transferred to the High State Desert Prison in Susanville, California. Id. at 10. Between January and March of 2007, Plaintiff alleges that he "submitted medical forms for treatment for his Hepatitis C" to officials at High Desert State Prison. Id. at 10.

On April 30, 2007, after failing to receive a response regarding his request for treatment, Plaintiff filed a Inmate Appeal Form 602 (the "April 30 grievance"). Form 602 requires an inmate to "describe the problem" and "request a solution." Id. Ex. F at 3. In the first space provided, Plaintiff noted that he had submitted forms requesting treatment for Hepatitis C and that the medical staff had failed to respond. Id. Plaintiff then requested treatment in the form of peginterferon. Id.

In this action, Plaintiff alleges that at the time he filed the April 30 grievance Defendant was "his so[le] provider and health care physician[]." Id. at 5. In response to a request for clarification from the court, Plaintiff further explained that he alleges that Defendant was his medical care provider in High State Desert Prison because she was responsible for the medical care in A-Yard where Plaintiff was housed and where he submitted requests for medical treatment. Pl.'s Supp. Opp'n at 2.

On June 11, 2007, Defendant interviewed Plaintiff as part of his first level administrative appeal regarding the April 30 grievance. Compl.at 11. At this meeting, Plaintiff allegedly repeated his request for peginterferon.Plaintiff alleges that, during this interview, Defendant told him "[his other doctor] was wrong, and advised plaintiff not to worry [because] he does not have Hepatitis C." Id.

On June 12, 2007, Plaintiff's April 30 grievance was denied.*fn2 Id. Ex. F at 6. Plaintiff then sought a second level review of the denial of his April 30 grievance. In explaining his reason for seeking a second level review, Plaintiff wrote "the family doctor... confirmed I had [Hepatitis C] and recommended peg interferon shots and now I'm being told [by Defendant] I don't have it." Id. Ex. F at 5. On September 14, 2007, Plaintiff's second level appeal was also denied, and Plaintiff immediately requested a third level appeal. Id. Ex. F at 4. On December 26, 2007, Plaintiff's third level appeal was denied. Id. Ex. F at 2.

B. Procedural Background

On April 16, 2008, Plaintiff filed the Complaint alleging that Defendant was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On April 5, 2010, Defendant filed her Motion. On May 17, 2010, Plaintiff filed an Opposition. On May 26, 2010, Defendant filed a Reply. On June 15, 2010, Plaintiff filed a sur-Reply. The court requested supplemental briefing, and Plaintiff filed a Supplemental Opposition on July 13, 2010. Defendant filed a Supplemental Reply on July 16, 2010. Pursuant to Local Rule 230(l), no hearing was held on this matter.

III. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

A. Judgment on the ...


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