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Bryan Habibi v. v. Joseph

March 28, 2012

BRYAN HABIBI,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
V. JOSEPH, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. ObertoUNITED States Magistrate Judge

FIRST SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983 (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

First Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Bryan Habibi, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on May 20, 2011. The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 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, 556 U.S. 662, __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now higher, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), and to survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment Medical Claim

A. Summary of Allegations

Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at Wasco State Prison, brings this suit against V. Joseph, a registered nurse, and the C-Yard Medical Clinic for violating his rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Plaintiff seeks damages and medical care.

Plaintiff's claim arises from an incident on April 16, 2011, in which his shoe flew off his foot while he was playing basketball and he landed hard on his bare foot, injuring his knee. Plaintiff was evaluated by M. Fernandez, a nurse, on April 17, 2011, and told he would be called to see a doctor. Plaintiff was not seen and he continued to submit requests for medical care due to pain. Plaintiff was next seen on April 28, 2011, by Defendant Joseph, who refused to discuss Plaintiff's pain and threatened to write him up. Plaintiff subsequently saw Defendant Joseph two more times, with similar results.

B. Legal Standard

Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead, 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). To state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendantpersonally participated in the deprivation of his rights. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones, 297 F.3d at 934.

To maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on medical care in prison, Plaintiff must show deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 295 (1976)) (quotation marks omitted). The two-part test for deliberate indifference requires 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 (quotation marks and citation omitted).

A mere difference of opinion between Plaintiff and prison medical authorities regarding treatment does not give rise to a section 1983 claim. Franklin v. Oregon, 662 F.2d 1337, 1344 (9th Cir. 1981) (quotation marks omitted). Rather, Plaintiff must show that the course of treatment chosen was medically unacceptable under the circumstances and was chosen in conscious disregard of an excessive risk to his health. Jackson v. McIntosh, 90 F.3d 330, 332 (9th Cir. 1986) (quotation marks omitted). Further, where, as here, the issue is one of delay in receiving medical treatment, the delay must have led to further harm in order for Plaintiff to make a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Berry v. Bunnell, 39 F.3d ...


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