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Richard Edward Jackson v. Bonnie Dumanis; State of California; Dr. Naranyo; San

April 11, 2011

RICHARD EDWARD JACKSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BONNIE DUMANIS; STATE OF CALIFORNIA; DR. NARANYO; SAN DIEGO CENTRAL DETENTION FACILITY; CAPTAIN PENA; SAN DIEGO SHERIFF WILLIAM GORE; SAN DIEGO COUNTY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States District Judge William Q. Hayes

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM AND FOR SEEKING MONETARY DAMAGES AGAINST DEFENDANTS WHO ARE IMMUNE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On October 18, 2010, Plaintiff, a former pre-trial detainee proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court dismissed the action for failing to pay or move to proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP"). See Nov. 22, 2010 Order at 2. On November 30, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Proceed IFP, a Motion to Amend/Correct the Complaint, Motion for Investigation of DOJ, Motion to Appoint Counsel and a notice of change of address indicating that Plaintiff was no longer incarcerated [ECF No. 4].

On January 19, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP, denied his Motion for Appointment of Counsel and Investigation of DOJ and granted Plaintiff leave to file a First Amended Complaint. See Jan. 19, 2011 Order at 3. On January 31, 2011, Plaintiff filed a one page First Amended Complaint ("FAC").

II. SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28U.S.C.§1915(e)(2)

The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA")'s amendments to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 obligate the Court to review complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP and by those, like Plaintiff, who were "incarcerated or detained in any facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program," "as soon as practicable after docketing." See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Under these provisions, the Court must sua sponte dismiss any prisoner civil action and all other IFP complaints, or any portions thereof, which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or which seek damages from defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

A. 42 U.S.C. § 1983

To state a claim under § 1983, Plaintiff must allege that: (1) the conduct he complains of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; and (2) that conduct violated a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Humphries v. County of Los Angeles, 554 F.3d 1170, 1184 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988)).

B. Inadequate medical care claims

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is only one page long and fails to set forth any specific factual allegations. However, it does appear that Plaintiff is alleging that he suffers from depression. At the times alleged in his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff was a pre-trial detainee housed at the San Diego Central Detention Facility . The Ninth Circuit has noted that while different Constitutional provisions may be applied dependent on whether a plaintiff's claim arises before or after conviction, "pretrial detainees' rights under the Fourteenth Amendment are comparable to prisoners' rights under the Eighth Amendment," and therefore, "the same standards apply." Frost v. Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124, 1128 (9th Cir. 1998); but cf. Gibson v. County of Washoe, 290 F.3d 1175, 1188 n.10 (9th Cir. 2002) (noting that while the Court generally looks to Eighth Amendment cases when reviewing conditions of confinement claims raised by pretrial detainees under the Fourteenth Amendment, "[i]t is quite possible ... that the protections provided pretrial detainees by the Fourteenth Amendment in some instances exceed those provided convicted prisoners by the Eighth Amendment."); see also Lolli v. County of Orange, 351 F.3d 410, 419 n.6 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Gibson, 290 F.3d at 1188 n.10).

In order to assert a claim for inadequate medical care, Plaintiff must allege facts which are sufficient to show that each person sued was "deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs." Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 32 (1993); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Prison officials must purposefully ignore or fail to respond to Plaintiff's pain or medical needs; neither an inadvertent failure to provide adequate medical care, nor mere negligence or medical malpractice constitutes a constitutional violation. Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105-06.

Thus, to state a claim, Plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to show both: (1) an objectively "serious" medical need, i.e., one that a reasonable doctor would think worthy of comment, one which significantly affects his daily activities, or one which is chronic and accompanied by substantial pain, see Doty v. County of Lassen, 37 F.3d 540, 546 (9th Cir. 1994); and (2) a subjective, and "sufficiently culpable" state of mind on the part of each individual Defendant. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 302 (1991).

Here, Plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to plead an inadequate medical care claim. It appears that Plaintiff is claiming that he was denied a specific medication. However, there are no facts in the First Amended Complaint from which the Court can determine whether he has suffered any injury as a result of the Defendants' alleged refusal in providing treatment. See Shapley v. Nevada Bd. of State Prison Comm'rs, 766 F.2d 404, 407 (9th Cir. 1985) (a prisoner can make "no claim for deliberate medical indifference unless the denial was harmful.").

Moreover, it appears that Plaintiff's claims are merely a disagreement over the preferred course of treatment for his medical condition A mere difference of opinion between an inmate and prison medical personnel regarding appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment are not enough to establish a ...


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