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Rodney B. Thomas v. andrews

August 25, 2011



(ECF No. 1)


Plaintiff Rodney B. Thomas ("Plaintiff") is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), which provides a remedy for violation of civil rights by federal actors. Plaintiff filed this action on April 1, 2011 and consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on April 18, 2011. (ECF Nos. 1 & 5.) No other parties have appeared.

Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state any claims upon which relief may be granted.


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 Atlantic 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.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.


Plaintiff claims violations of his Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care and right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants: Warden Andrews, Warden Neil Alder, Warden Jeff Wringley, Assistant Warden Wofford, Clinical Director Rucker, Health Services Administrator Laurie Watts, Doctor Ndukwe N. Odluga, Counselor Delannes, Unit Manager Bernard, and John and Jane Does 10-15. All Defendants were employed at Taft Correctional Institute at the time of the incidents.

Plaintiff alleges the following: In 2001, Plaintiff was prescribed a specific medical regimen by a specialist during his stay at a different facility. Plaintiff is blind and suffers from glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, neuropathy and angina. Upon Plaintiff's arrival at Taft, he was not assigned an inmate companion nor was he given his prescriptions. The Medical Department stated that it did not have Plaintiff's medical records, so Plaintiff did not receive his prescriptions for over thirty days, including not receiving prescribed eye drops. Plaintiff filed numerous grievances. Defendant Rucker investigated Plaintiff's claims and concluded that there was no record of Plaintiff's eye drop prescription at Taft. Soon thereafter, Plaintiff's medical records were received and the appropriate eye drops were ordered for Plaintiff. Plaintiff was unable to receive his eye drops consistently. Plaintiff also had problems receiving his other medications consistently.

Plaintiff was not provided with an inmate assistant to help him with mobility, reading, writing, and other day-to-day tasks. Plaintiff was promised a room for the disable, but he never received one.

Plaintiff was not provided with adequate nutrition or exercise considering his diabetic condition. Plaintiff requested access to the universal gym or to be placed on a special exercise program because of his diabetes and neuropathy. Defendant Rucker denied Plaintiff's requests.

Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages.


The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:

Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. "Section 1983 . . . creates a cause of action for violations of the federal Constitution and laws." Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385, 1391 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotations omitted).

A. Eighth Amendment Claims

Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment right by failing to provide adequate medical care. Specifically, Plaintiff states that he did not receive his prescriptions regularly and he was not provide adequate meals or exercise for his diabetes.

"[T]o maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on prison medical treatment, an inmate must show 'deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.'" Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). The two part test for deliberate indifference requires the plaintiff to show (1) "'a serious medical need' by demonstrating that 'failure to treat a prisoner's condition could result in further significant injury or the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,'" and (2) "the defendant's response to the need was deliberately indifferent." Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096 (quoting McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 1992), overruled on other grounds, WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) (internal quotations omitted)). Deliberate indifference is shown by "a purposeful act or failure to respond to a prisoner's pain or possible medical need, and harm caused by the indifference." Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096 (citing McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1060). In order to ...

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