The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This proceeding was referred to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 302.
IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).*fn1 Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action.
28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee from plaintiff's prison trust account and forward it to the Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiff's prison trust account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
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).
A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous when it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.
Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "requires only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action;" it must contain factual allegations sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. However, "[s]pecific facts are not necessary; the statement [of facts] need only 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp., 550 U.S. at 555) (citations and internal quotations marks omitted). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, id., and construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
The complaint alleges that plaintiff has failed to receive constitutionally adequate medical care at California State Prison-Sacramento ("CSP-SAC") for his chronic back pain, digestive problems and knee pain. A prisoner's claim of inadequate medical care may constitute cruel or unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment if plaintiff can demonstrate that defendant was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical needs. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Plaintiff alleges that he suffered gunshot injuries in 2002 and 2007, which resulted in chronic injuries to his lower back (L4 and L5 and associated nerves) and colon, and that since his transfer to CSP-SAC from CSP-Folsom he has been denied previously prescribed pain medications (resulting in "constant cronic (sic) agonizing pain" and "excrusiating (sic) lower back pain and intense discomfort." (Complaint ("Cmplt.") at 4, 11.) Plaintiff also alleges that his chronic back pain caused his knee to "go out," and that he has been denied his specially prescribed diet, resulting in stomach problems.
While plaintiff names several defendants on the cover sheet of his complaint, the body of the complaint appears to state a potentially cognizable claim against only one defendant, Dr. J. Wedell. For the limited purposes of § 1915A screening, the court finds that the complaint may state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim against Wedell for deliberate indifference to plaintiff's serious medical needs. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The other allegations of the complaint are repetitive and vague, and fail to state cognizable claims against the additional named defendants, viz., the entire Medical Health Care Department of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), and individually named defendants K. Daly, Verga, Val, Duk, Liamcar, D. Russell, J. Ball, Sahuto, and Cardeno.*fn2 The claims against these defendants will therefore be dismissed with leave to amend.
As a result, plaintiff may proceed forthwith to serve defendant Wedell and pursue his claims against only Wedell, or plaintiff may delay serving Wedell and attempt to state a cognizable claim against both Wedell ...