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Melvin Ray Brummett, Jr v. Robert Sillen

November 17, 2011

MELVIN RAY BRUMMETT, JR.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT SILLEN, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS BE GRANTED (DOC. 46) OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE WITHIN TWENTY-ONE DAYS

Findings And Recommendations

I. Background

Plaintiff Melvin Ray Brummett, Jr. ("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. This action is proceeding on Plaintiff's third amended complaint against Defendants S. Kaur and Doe 1 for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and state law claim of negligence.*fn1 Pending before the Court is Defendant Kaur's motion to dismiss pursuant to the unenumerated portion of Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, filed June 13, 2011. Def.'s Mot. Dismiss, Doc. 46. On June 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed his opposition.*fn2

Pl.'s Opp'n, Doc. 47. On July 5, 2011, Defendant filed the reply. Def.'s Reply, Doc. 48. The matter is submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230(l).

II. Summary Of Third Amended Complaint*fn3

Plaintiff was incarcerated at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility ("SATF") in Corcoran, California. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant S. Kaur had denied Plaintiff's medication refill in August 9, 2009. Plaintiff filed a 602 inmate grievance against Defendant S. Kaur. Plaintiff had informed Defendant Kaur during a July 1, 2009 visit that Plaintiff had been prescribed Naproxen since June 22, 2004, and had been approved for Naproxen and other medications. Defendant Kaur informed Plaintiff that she would determine whether Plaintiff's Naproxen was prescribed or renewed. Plaintiff suffered chronic pain as a result.

Plaintiff alleges a violation of the Eighth Amendment and the state law claim of negligence. Plaintiff requests as relief monetary damages.

III. Exhaustion Of Administrative Remedies

A. Legal Standard

Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, "[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under [42 U.S.C. § 1983], or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Prisoners are required to exhaust the available administrative remedies prior to filing suit. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 211 (2007); McKinney v. Carey, 311 F.3d 1198, 1199-1201 (9th Cir. 2002) (per curiam). Exhaustion is required regardless of the relief sought by the prisoner and regardless of the relief offered by the process, Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 (2001), and the exhaustion requirement applies to all prisoner suits relating to prison life, Porter v. Nussle, 435 U.S. 516, 532 (2002).

Section 1997e(a) does not impose a pleading requirement, but rather, is an affirmative defense under which defendants have the burden of raising and proving the absence of exhaustion. Jones, 549 U.S. at 216; Wyatt, 315 F.3d at 1119. The failure to exhaust non-judicial administrative remedies that are not jurisdictional is subject to an unenumerated Rule 12(b) motion, rather than a summary judgment motion. Wyatt, 315 F.3d at 1119 (citing Ritza v. Int'l Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's Union, 837 F.2d 365, 368 (9th Cir. 1998) (per curiam)). In deciding a motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the Court may look beyond the pleadings and decide disputed issues of fact. Id. at 1119-20. If the Court concludes that the prisoner has failed to exhaust administrative remedies, the proper remedy is dismissal without prejudice. Id.

B. Discussion

The CDCR has an administrative grievance system for prisoner complaints. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15, § 3084.1 (2010). The process is initiated by submitting a CDC Form 602. Id. § 3084.2(a). Four levels of appeal are involved, including the informal level, first formal level, second formal level, and third formal level, also known as the "Director's Level." Id. § 3084.5. Appeals must be submitted within fifteen working days of the event being appealed, and the process is initiated by submission of the appeal to the informal level, or in some circumstances, the first formal level. Id. §§ 3084.5, 3084.6(c). In order to satisfy § 1997e(a), California state prisoners are required to use this process to exhaust their claims prior to filing suit. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 85-86 (2006); McKinney, 311 F.3d at 1199-1201. Exhaustion does not always require pursuit of an appeal through the Director's Level of Review. What is required to satisfy exhaustion is a fact specific inquiry, and may be dependent upon prison ...


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