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James Bowell v. Treatment Facility At Corcoran

June 7, 2011


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


Screening Order

I. Background

Plaintiff James Bowell ("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 by filing his complaint on December 15, 2010. Doc. 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).

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 was previously incarcerated at California Substance Treatment Facility ("SATF") in Corcoran, California, and High Desert State Prison ("HDSP") in Susanville, California. Plaintiff names as Defendants: M. Ancheta, L. Metzler, R. Kifer, and M. J. Gaedke, dentists employed at SATF; V. Fanous, chief dentist at SATF; C. Lewis, dentist at HDSP; C. Hopson, supervising dentist at HDSP; R. J. Leo, chief dental officer at HDSP; T. Kimura, chief third level dentist manager, at CDCR in Sacramento; and J. Walker, associate deputy director of dental health services, at CDCR in Sacramento.

Plaintiff alleges the following. On May 25, 2008, defendant M. Ancheta wrongfully extracted a molar that could have been repaired in the community (presumably a reference to other dentists in the area).*fn1 The extraction of the molar took over thirty minutes. During the extraction, Defendant Ancheta knocked Plaintiff's front tooth loose by bumping it several times. The unnecessary molar extraction caused a number of problems, including Plaintiff being unable to eat on the left side of his mouth, the bite of his teeth being off, loss of weight from 170 to 140 pounds, left side of Plaintiff's neck becoming loose from lack of biting, damage to Plaintiff's jaw bone, and bone loss and pain. Pl.'s Compl. ¶¶ 5-7.

On January 18, 2008, Defendant Metzler stated that Plaintiff's molars could be repaired out in the community by a local dentist. Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 8.

On February 25, 2008, in response to Plaintiff's 602 inmate grievance, Defendant Gaedke stated that CDCR does not provide root canal treatment for posterior teeth, including Plaintiff's molar. Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 9.

On April 22, 2008, Defendant R. Kifer attempted to pull two teeth, stating that tooth No. 13 cannot be easily restored, and that SATF provides only a silver crown. Plaintiff found that to be unacceptable. Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 10.

On June 17, 2008, Defendant V. Fanous during an interview stated that Plaintiff will not be provided off-site dental care based on the Department Operations Manual. Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 11. Plaintiff was then transferred to HDSP, and his inmate grievance also followed. Pl.'s Compl. ¶12.

On December 17, 2008, Defendant C. Lewis stated that because Plaintiff refused to sign a liability release form for dental services, he would not repair Plaintiff's teeth. Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 13. On February 20, 2009, Defendant C. Hopson affirmed Defendant C. Lewis's decision, denying Plaintiff's request for offsite dental services and cosmetic bonding. Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 14. On December 22, 2008, and ...

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