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Brown v. Pickett

October 9, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge


Screening Order

I. Background

Plaintiff Alfred Brown ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action on December 31, 2009, by filing his complaint in the Southern District of California. On February 1, 2010, the Southern District transferred this action to the Eastern District of California, and also dismissed some of Plaintiff's claims as time-barred.*fn1

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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Summary Of Complaint

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at California Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility ("SATF") in Corcoran, California. Plaintiff names as Defendants CDCR, staff counsel D. Robbins, CDC Health Care Service representative Anne Arroyo, chief medical officer Edgar Castillo, warden Derral G. Adams, appeals coordinator C. L. Cooper, and chief medical officer E. Flores.*fn2

Plaintiff alleges the following. Plaintiff had reached a settlement agreement with the CDCR in the case of Brown v. Pickett, et al., Case No. 96-CV-493 J(AJB), (S. D. Cal.), on March 16, 2000. Pursuant to the agreement, Charles Pickett, David Smith, R. Asuncion, and B. Shaw, with the CDCR acting as representative, agreed to 1) pay Plaintiff and his attorney a fixed amount; 2) have Plaintiff's ankle and leg evaluated by an orthopedic specialist to be selected by Plaintiff a list of physicians under contract with CDCR, provided that the chosen physician agrees to conduct the evaluation. CDCR would also select an orthopedic specialist to evaluate Plaintiff; and 3) following the evaluation, the orthopedic specialist will forward a report to the chief medical officer where Plaintiff is housed as provide a copy for Plaintiff and his attorney. Following the orthopedic specialists' report, the CMO will approve a treatment plan for Plaintiff's ankle and leg problems, and provide this recommended treatment plan to Plaintiff.

Plaintiff alleges that CDCR has not complied with the second and third terms of the contract agreement. Plaintiff complains of deliberate indifference in violating the settlement agreemenet between Plaintiff and CDCR reached in March 2000.

Plaintiff alleges that his attorney communicated with Defendant Arroyo in 2003 regarding non-compliance with the settlement agreement, and received no response. Plaintiff's counsel sent a follow-up letter and received no response. Plaintiff contends Defendants Arroyo and Robbins were well aware of the breach and deliberately chose not to respond.

Plaintiff received a letter from Defendant Adams on April 30, 2003, regarding Plaintiff's letter informing the warden of the breach of contract. Plaintiff filed grievances regarding this issue. Defendant Cooper turned a blind eye to Plaintiff's inmate appeal regarding the breach of contract. Defendant E. Flores refused to accept that a breach of contract occurred. Plaintiff submits the settlement agreement as an exhibit in his complaint.

Plaintiff requests as relief compensatory and ...

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