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Daniel Rowe v. Department of Dismissing Injunctive Relief Claim Corrections

December 7, 2010

DANIEL ROWE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF DISMISSING INJUNCTIVE RELIEF CLAIM CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER (1) DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST; (2) GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM; (3) WITH PREJUDICE; AND (4) DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO FILE A SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

(Docs. 21 and 28)

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff Daniel Rowe, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 30, 2006. This action is proceeding on Plaintiff's amended complaint, filed November 25, 2008, against Defendants Rodriguez and Kurtz for violation of the Eighth Amendment.

On July 13, 2009, Defendant Rodriguez filed a motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust the administrative remedies and for failure to state a claim.*fn1 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b). Plaintiff opposed the motion and on February 4, 2010, the Magistrate Judge issued a findings and recommendations recommending that Defendant Rodriguez's motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust be granted. Defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim was not addressed in light of the conclusion that Plaintiff failed to exhaust. After obtaining four extensions of time, Plaintiff filed an objection on September 17, 2010.

II. Exhaustion

Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims arise out of an incident in which Defendant Kurtz denied Plaintiff his prescription medications in July 2005, and an incident in which Defendant Rodriguez denied Plaintiff his prescription medications on October 3, 2005. Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal in July 2005 grieving the failure of medical staff to provide Plaintiff with his prescription medications. The appeal was denied at the Director's Level of review on February 26,2006.

Defendants argued that the appeal, which was initiated in July 2005, could not have exhausted the claim against Defendant Rodriguez, which arose from an incident in October 2005. The Magistrate Judge agreed and recommended that Defendant Rodriguez's motion to dismiss be granted.

"[T]he primary purpose of a grievance is to notify the prison of a problem, and facilitate its resolution." Griffin v. Arpaio, 557 F.3d 1117, 1120 (9th Cir. 2009). In the absence of greater specificity required by the applicable regulations, a grievance is sufficient "'if it alerts the prison to the nature of the wrong for which redress is sought.'" Griffin, 557 F.3d at 1120 (quoting Strong v. David, 297 F.3d 646, 650 (7th Cir. 2002)). The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has an administrative remedy process which allows prisoners to appeal any departmental decision, action, condition, or policy which has an adverse effect on them. Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15 § 3084.1(a) (2010). The process is initiated by submitting a CDCR Form 602, and inmates are required only to describe the problem and the action requested. Tit. 15, § 3084.2(a).

The constitutional violations at issue in this action are the denial of Plaintiff's prescription medications by two medical staff members. Plaintiff's inmate appeal grieved the ongoing failure of medical staff in general to provide Plaintiff with his prescription medications. Because Plaintiff's legal claims involve the same basic facts as set forth in his inmate appeal and prison regulations do not require inmates to name each prison official they believe to be involved in the issue(s) being appealed, the Court finds that Plaintiff's appeal was sufficient to grieve his Eighth Amendment claims relating to the deprivation of his prescription medications. Griffin, 557 F.3d at 1120. Defendant Rodriguez's motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust is denied.

III. Sufficiency of Legal Claims

A. Claim for Injunctive Relief

Plaintiff's claims arose from events which occurred in 2005 when Plaintiff was incarcerated at California State Prison-Corcoran. Plaintiff is now incarcerated at California State Prison-Sacramento and his amended complaint contains no allegations that Defendants Rodriguez and Kurtz's actions presented any sort of ongoing violation of his rights. Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to seek only monetary relief in this action and his prayer for equitable relief in the form of "full treatment" may not be awarded. 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A); Mayfield v. United States, 599 F.3d 964, 969 (9th Cir. 2010); Nelson v. Heiss, 271 F.3d 891, 897 (9th Cir. 2001); Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1368 (9th Cir. 1995); ...


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