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Tanya L. Lawrence v. Dr. Berry

July 27, 2011

TANYA L. LAWRENCE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. BERRY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DISMISSING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS DOC. 10

Screening Order

I. Background

Plaintiff Tanya L. Lawrence ("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 her complaint on November 4, 2009. (Doc. 1.) On October 28, 2010, the matter was reassigned to the undersigned. On November 30, 2010, the Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. On March 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed her first amended complaint. Doc. 10.

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 Amended Complaint

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at California Correctional Women's Facility ("CCWF") in Chowchilla, California. Plaintiff names as Defendants: Dr. Berry, formerly employed at CCWF as a dentist; Dr. Charles Lee, former chief dental officer at CCWF; Dr. Mauricio, dentist at CCWF; and Laverne Blanchard, dental hygienist at CCWF.

Plaintiff alleges the following. On September 18, 2011, Plaintiff informed Defendant Berry of sensitivity in tooth No. 7. Defendant Berry took an x-ray of the tooth, but did no further treatment. Defendant Berry failed to include this tooth in his treatment plan on September 24, 2001, though he acknowledged an issue with the tooth. Defendant Berry was also aware of the severity of neglecting any signs of acute, significant, debilitating pain due to obvious or suspected oral infection. Plaintiff's tooth No. 7 had been previously classified as Class 3 on April 19, 2011. Class 3 is an oral condition that, if not treated, would result in acute dental problems within twelve months after such classification.

Defendant Mauricio also saw Plaintiff on occasion between January 9, 2002 and September 18, 2003. Plaintiff would complain of tooth No. 7. Defendant Mauricio recommended extraction, which Plaintiff declined, requesting a root canal. Defendant Blanchard would also recommend to Defendant Mauricio and Plaintiff that Plaintiff's tooth be extracted.

Defendant Lee was aware of Plaintiff's issues with tooth No. 7, and responded to one of Plaintiff's inmate grievances by stating that he would monitor Plaintiff's treatment to insure that Plaintiff received timely treatment.

Plaintiff contends that she did not receive a root canal until September 18, 2003. Plaintiff complains that she endured pain in her tooth for over two years. Plaintiff contends that as a result of the delay, she suffered irreversible bone loss and damage to one of her nerves. Plaintiff was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia on March 12, 2008.

Plaintiff requests as relief monetary and ...


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