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Alfredo Rincon v. Matthew Cate

February 22, 2011

ALFREDO RINCON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MATTHEW CATE, N BARRERAS, D KHATRI, ALAN FRUEH, J CLARK KELSO, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge

ORDER:

(1) ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION; (2) GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. Nos. 15, 18)

Presently before the Court is Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes's report and recommendation (R&R) advising this Court to grant Defendants' motion to dismiss. (Doc. No. 18.) Also before the Court are Plaintiff's objections to the R&R (Doc. No. 19 (Objections)) and Defendants' reply to Plaintiff's objections (Doc. No. 20 (Reply)). Having considered the parties' arguments and the law, the Court ADOPTS the R&R, GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss, and DISMISSES this action.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, a state prisoner incarcerated at Centinela State Prison in Imperial, California, brings this complaint alleging that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care by acting "intentionally or with deliberate indifference" to his need for a liver transplant. (Doc. No. 1 (Compl.) 2).

Plaintiff filed his complaint on November 30, 2009. Id. On July 12, 2010, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. (Doc. No. 15.) On August 3, 2010, Plaintiff filed an opposition (Doc. No. 16), and on August 13, 2010, Defendants filed a reply (Doc. No. 17). On November 15, 2010, Magistrate Judge Stormes issued an R&R, advising this Court to grant Defendants' motion. (Doc. No. 18.) Plaintiff objected to the R&R on December 6, 2010 (Doc. No. 19), and Defendants replied on December 17, 2010 (Doc. No. 20).

LEGAL STANDARD

1. Review of the Report and Recommendation

Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) set forth a district court's duties regarding a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. The district court "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report . . . to which objection is made," and "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c); see also United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673--76 (1980). However, in the absence of a timely objection, "the Court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Fed. R. Civ. P. 72, advisory committee's note (citing Campbell v. U.S. Dist. Court, 501 F.2d 196, 206 (9th Cir. 1974)).

2. Motion to Dismiss

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a party to assert by motion the defense that the complaint "fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," generally known as a motion to dismiss. The Court evaluates whether a complaint states a cognizable legal theory and sufficient facts in light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), which requires a "short and plain statement of the claim" showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. Although Rule 8 "does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' . . . it [does] demand[] more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, - U.S.- , 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In other words, "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' for his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). A claim is facially plausible when the facts pleaded "allow[] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). That is not to say that the claim must be probable, but there must be "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. Facts "'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" fall short of a plausible entitlement to relief. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, the Court need not accept as true "legal conclusions" contained in the complaint. Id. This review requires context-specific analysis involving the Court's "judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged- but it has not 'show[n]'- 'that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Id.

When a motion to dismiss is granted, "leave to amend should be granted 'unless the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency.'" DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992) (quoting Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986)). In other words, the ...


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