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Wayne L. Pickering v. Clark

January 11, 2012


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



I. Background

Plaintiff Wayne L. Pickering ("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 June 9, 2011. 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 Abuse Treatment Facility ("CSATF") in Corcoran, California, and Pleasant Valley State Prison ("PVSP") in Delano, California, and is currently incarcerated at Sierra Conservation Center ("SCC") in Jamestown, California. Plaintiff names as Defendants at CSATF: Ken Clark, warden; correctional officer N. Ibanez; chief medical officer A. Enenmoh; health care manager G. Milliken; Doctors A. Rotman and Metts of CSATF; doctor D. G. Smith, doctor from outside facility; E facility lieutenant E. Smith; licensed vocational nurse ("LVN") Komar; and emergency room RN's Jane Doe 1 and John Doe 1. Plaintiff names as Defendants at SCC: chief medical officer Jack St. Clair; licensed psychiatric technician ("LPT") Borden and S. Bokelman. Plaintiff also names appeals coordinator Crum and physician assistant T. Byers, both from CSATF, in his complaint.

Plaintiff's claims at CSATF and SCC are unrelated and may not proceed in the same action. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2), persons may be joined as defendants in one action if the right asserted against them arises from the same transaction or occurrence, and any questions of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. See also George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (finding unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits). The Court finds that Plaintiff's claims arising at CSATF are unrelated to the claims arising at SCC, as they do not arise from the same transaction or occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.

Plaintiff has also included over one-hundred pages of exhibits with his complaint. The federal courts are courts of notice pleading. Thus, Plaintiff need only provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing that he is entitled to relief. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).

The Court will screen Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and § 1915(e)(2)(B).

A. Claims Arising at CSATF

Plaintiff suffered from serious knee problems in 2005, while he was incarcerated at CSATF. Compl. 2.*fn1 Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Rotman, of E yard. Id. Defendant Rotman agreed with other doctors' recommendations that Plaintiff see a specialist, Defendant D. G. Smith. Id. After being seen by Defendant Smith, he referred Plaintiff back to Defendant Rotman. Id. Defendant Rotman stated that he would begin the paperwork for Plaintiff to receive surgery. Id. Plaintiff was in debilitating pain and eventually requested pain medication. Id. By mid-2006, Plaintiff was in intense pain, that made pain medication insufficient. Id. at 3. Officers T. Bauer and Long called for Defendant LVN Komar, who called the doctor and informed him that Plaintiff was in severe pain and could not move. Id.

Plaintiff received a wheelchair and wooden cane. Id. Plaintiff saw Defendant D. G. Smith, who again called Defendant Rotman to get the paperwork done. Id. Plaintiff was put on higher doses of morphine rather than receiving the surgery. Id. Plaintiff had written to Defendants G. Milliken, chief medical officer A. Enenmoh, and warden Ken Clark. Id.

On March 5, 2007, Defendant D.G. Smith performed an arthroscopy on Plaintiff's left knee. Id. Defendant Smith faxed the report to Defendant Rotman on March 9, 2007. Id. Defendant Smith saw Plaintiff twice more on March 21 and June 6 of 2007, and ordered more medication for Plaintiff, and noted that Plaintiff may need total knee replacement. Id.

Plaintiff was seen by several doctors in the community who all agreed that Plaintiff would need a total left knee replacement. Id. at 4. Defendant Rotman informed Plaintiff that the paperwork was wrong and needed to be redone. Id. Plaintiff complained to the healthcare managers. Id. Defendant T. Byers interviewed Plaintiff and on May 19, 2009, Plaintiff's appeal was granted, with the only thing missing a referral for surgery. Id.

Om May 30, 2009, during morning pill call, Plaintiff was in severe pain. Id. at 5.

Defendant Komar informed Plaintiff that if the pain did not lessen to call her. Id. By noon pill line, the pain did not lessen, and Plaintiff was in too much pain to walk. Id. At about 1:30 p.m., Plaintiff informed officers Bauer and Long that he could not walk. Id. Bauer activated his alarm and medical ...

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