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Richard Edward Jackson, Iii v. Bonnie Dumanis

March 13, 2012

RICHARD EDWARD JACKSON, III,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BONNIE DUMANIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY; WILLIAM GORE, SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF; CAPTAIN PENA, SAN DIEGO CENTRAL JAIL FACILITY COMMANDER; DR. NORANYO, DIRECTOR OF PSYCHIATRY, SDCJ; COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, CENTRAL DETENTION FACILITY, GEORGE BAILEY DETENTION FACILITY, AND SAN DIEGO PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge:

ORDER

The matter before the court is the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 58) recommending that the Motions to Dismiss filed by Defendant Dr. Noranyo (ECF No. 21), Defendants Bonnie Dumanis, William Gore, and Captain Pena (ECF No. 22) and Defendant County of San Diego (ECF No. 56) be granted and that the Second Amended Complaint (ECF No. 12) filed by Plaintiff Richard Jackson be dismissed with prejudice.

BACKGROUND

On October 26, 2010, Plaintiff, a former pre-trial detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, initiated this action by filing a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). On January 31, 2011, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint. (ECF No. 10). On May 18, 2011, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint ("Complaint"). (ECF No. 12).

In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was not given his bipolar disorder medication, Seroquel, while in custody at the San Diego Central Detention Facility despite numerous requests to receive that medication. Plaintiff alleges that he was sent to San Diego Psychiatric Hospital where he was only treated for high blood pressure, not his bipolar disorder or suicidal tendencies. Plaintiff alleges that he was placed in a padded "safety cell" on the day of his arrival to San Diego Central Detention Facility, during which time he received food and water through a hole in the door and was forced to use a storm drain as bathroom facilities. Plaintiff alleges that he was treated by a psychiatrist at San Diego Central Detention Facility and did receive medication, but he was never treated for suicidal tendencies or given Seroquel, the medication he alleges to be most effective in treating his symptoms. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical need for Seroquel and that San Diego County policies for treating suicidal inmates violates his civil rights. Plaintiff alleges that the following civil rights were violated by Defendants: "Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, right to medical care, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment 8th Amendment and 14th Amendment." (ECF No. 12 at 1).

On July 26, 2011, Defendant Noranyo filed a motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 21). Defendant Noranyo contends that Plaintiff's allegations against Dr. Noranyo amount to a difference of medical opinion and fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. On August 2, 2011, Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 24). Plaintiff contends that Dr. Noranyo was head psychiatrist at San Diego Central Detention Facility and responsible for treating Plaintiff's bipolar disorder and suicidal tendencies, but failed to do so.

On August 1, 2011, Defendants Dumanis, Gore, and Pena filed a motion to dismiss contending that Plaintiff fails to allege any facts demonstrating personal involvement or facts supporting liability on the part of Defendants Dumanis, Gore, and Pena. (ECF No. 22). On November 26, 2011, Defendant County of San Diego filed a motion to dismiss contending that Plaintiff's allegations are conclusory and insufficient to state a civil rights claim against a municipality. (ECF No. 56). The record does not reflect that any oppositions were filed by Plaintiff to the motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Dumanis, Gore, Pena and the County of San Diego.

On January 23, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the motions to dismiss be granted. (ECF No. 58). On February 13, 2012, Plaintiff filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 60).

REVIEW OF THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

The duties of the district court in connection with a report and recommendation of a magistrate judge are set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The district judge must "make a de novo determination of those portions of the report ... to which objection is made," and "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The district court need not review de novo those portions of a report and recommendation to which neither party objects. See Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 992, 1000 n.13 (9th Cir. 2005); U.S. v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121-22 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc).

A. Medical Treatment Claims

The Court has reviewed the Report and Recommendation, the record in this case, and the submissions of the parties. Regarding the claims against Defendants Dumanis, Gore, and Pena, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge correctly stated that "liability under [§] 1983 arises only upon a showing of personal participation by the defendant. A supervisor is only liable for the constitutional violations of... subordinates if the supervisor participated in or directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them." (ECF No. 58 at 4, quoting Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir.1989)). The Magistrate Judge correctly found that "Plaintiff has failed to allege any facts as to how defendants Dumanis, Gore or Pena were involved in the alleged constitutional violation. Their names are never mentioned in the [Complaint]." Id. at 5. The Magistrate correctly concluded that "even if one were to consider the previous complaints, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against these defendants " Id.

Regarding the claims against Defendant Noranyo, the Magistrate Judge correctly stated that "a complaint that a physician has been negligent in diagnosing or treating a medical condition does not state a valid claim of medical mistreatment under the Eighth Amendment." Id. at 7 (quotation omitted). The Magistrate Judge correctly stated that "[d]ifferences in judgment between an inmate and prison medical personnel regarding appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment are not enough to establish a deliberate indifference claim." Id. The Magistrate Judge correctly found that "Plaintiff does not allege that Dr. Naranjo failed to treat his condition. Rather, Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Naranjo did not prescribe him the medication Seroquel.... [and that] Dr. Naranjo was not competent in how he handled Plaintiff's treatment." Id. The Magistrate Judge correctly concluded that Plaintiff "alleges a disagreement over treatment or, at most, medical negligence, and therefore does not state an Eighth Amendment claim [against Defendant Noranyo]." Id. at 8.

Regarding the claims against Defendant County of San Diego, the Magistrate Judge correctly stated that "a local government entity such as the County may not be sued under § 1983 for an injury inflicted solely by its employees or agents. Instead, it is when execution of a government's policy or custom ... inflicts the injury that the government as an entity is responsible under § 1983." Id. at 10 (quotations omitted). The Magistrate Judge correctly stated that such a claim "may not be pursued in the absence of an underlying constitutional deprivation or injury." Id. The Magistrate Judge correctly concluded that "Plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to state any underlying constitutional deprivation or injury" and that "while Plaintiff makes some general allegations in the [Complaint] about a ...


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