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Ortiz v. Johnson

October 25, 2010

WILLIE ORTIZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. JOHNSON, M.D., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

(Doc. 1)

Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement

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 has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1).

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).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to 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). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard... applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

II. Plaintiff's Claims

Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at Corcoran State Prison, brings this lawsuit against correctional officials employed by the CDCR. Plaintiff claims that he was denied adequate medical care, such that it violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff names the following defendants: CDCR Medical Department; Dr. Johnson, M.D.; CMC East Medical Facility; Dr. Chafe; Nurse Ruff, R.N; Physician's Assistant (PA) Peters; PA Byers; Dr. Kumar.

This action proceeds on the original complaint filed on November 25, 2009. Plaintiff alleges that on August 11, 2006, Dr. Johnson performed cataract surgery on Plaintiff. (Compl. ¶ IV.) On August 18, 2006, a lens was inserted into Plaintiff's left eye by Dr. Johnson. Id. Subsequently, Plaintiff suffered an eye infection. By October 25th, the infection caused Plaintiff "great pain and suffering." Id. Plaintiff was prescribed eye drops by "the east yard CMC medical clinic." Plaintiff alleges that "CDCR medical" sent Plaintiff to see the ophthalmologist at CMC. Plaintiff alleges that "CMC sent me to Corcoran and over the period of Aug-11-2006 to 8-26-08 I've seen P.A. Peters and P.A. Byers who have done nothing I am totaly [sic] blind." Id.

A. Venue

Plaintiff indicates that, at the time the complaint was filed, he was housed at Corcoran State Prison. In his complaint, however, he refers to "CMC East Medical" and "east yard medical clinic.*fn1 "

At some point, Plaintiff was transferred to CSP Corcoran. The events that give rise to this lawsuit occurred from 2006 to 2008. It is unclear from the allegations where the events at issue occurred.

The federal venue statute requires that a civil action, other than one based on diversity jurisdiction, be brought only in "(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same state, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any ...


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