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Ruben Chavira v. Ruth Coronado

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 22, 2012

RUBEN CHAVIRA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
RUTH CORONADO, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS (ECF No. 12)

Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

This action proceeds on the June 12, 2012, first amended complaint filed in response to an earlier order dismissing the original complaint and granting Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint.

II. Plaintiff's Claims

Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at Kern Valley State Prison, brings this civil rights action against defendant correctional officials employed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at Kern Valley. Plaintiff names the following individual defendants: J. Todd, Ruth Coronado and Health Care Appeal Coordinator Robin Burton.

In the order dismissing the original complaint, the Court noted that although it was difficult to discern from Plaintiff's statement of claim, it appeared that Plaintiff was alleging that he had been denied adequate medical care. Plaintiff made vague references to a plate in his leg, and various medical appointments. Plaintiff failed to indicate any specific conduct by any individual. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed.

In the first amended complaint, Plaintiff names as a defendant Ruth Coronado, the Health Care Services Manager at Kern Valley State Prison. In the first amended complaint, Plaintiff sets forth his statement of claim as follows: "Plaintiff reiterates claims in his original complaint that during November 11- 19, 2009 to October 10-14, 2011, while at Kern Valley State Prison a doctor told him he would be sent to an outside hospital for surgery relating to a metal plate in his left hand. He was not sent for such surgery." (Am. Compl. ¶ IV.)

A. Medical Care

"[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, 1136 (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." Id. (citing McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1060). Where a prisoner is alleging a delay in receiving medical treatment, the delay must have led to further harm in order for the prisoner to make a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. McGuckin at 1060 (citing Shapely v. Nevada Bd. of State Prison Comm'rs, 766 F.2d 404, 407 (9th Cir. 1985)).

As noted in the order dismissing the original complaint, in order to state a claim under section 1983, "A person deprives another of a constitutional right, where that person 'does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which [that person] is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made.'" Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 988 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)). "[T]he 'requisite causal connection can be established not only by some kind of direct, personal participation in the deprivation, but also by setting in motion a series of acts by others which the actor knows or reasonably should know would cause others to inflict the constitutional injury.'" Id. (quoting Johnson at 743-44).

Plaintiff was specifically advised that in order to hold an individual defendant liable, Plaintiff must name the individual defendant, describe where that defendant is employed and in what capacity, and explain how that defendant acted under color of state law. Plaintiff should state clearly, in his or her own words, what happened. Plaintiff must describe what each defendant, by name, did to violate the particular right described by Plaintiff. Plaintiff has failed to do so here. Plaintiff may not simply hold Defendant Coronado liable on the basis that she is the Health Care Services Manager. Plaintiff must allege facts indicating that Defendant Coronado knew of a serious medical condition of Plaintiff's, and engaged in conduct that constitutes deliberate indifference. There is no specific conduct charged to Defendant Coronado in the first amended complaint. The Court will therefore grant Plaintiff one final opportunity to file a second amended complaint that corrects the defects identified by this order.

III. Conclusion and Order

The Court has screened Plaintiff's first amended complaint and finds that it does not state any claims upon which relief may be granted under section 1983. The Court will provide Plaintiff with one final opportunity to file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies identified by the Court in this order. Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448-49 (9th Cir. 1987). Plaintiff is cautioned that he may not change the nature of this suit by adding new, unrelated claims in his amended complaint. George, 507 F.3d at 607 (no "buckshot" complaints).

Plaintiff's amended complaint should be brief, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), but must state what each named defendant did that led to the deprivation of Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights, Hydrick, 500 F.3d at 987-88. Although accepted as true, the "[f]actual allegations must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . ." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554 (2007) (citations omitted).

Finally, Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint supercedes the original complaint, Forsyth v. Humana, Inc., 114 F.3d 1467, 1474 (9th Cir. 1997); King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987), and must be "complete in itself without reference to the prior or superceded pleading," Local Rule 15-220. Plaintiff is warned that "[a]ll causes of action alleged in an original complaint which are not alleged in an amended complaint are waived." King, 814 F.2d at 567 (citing to London v. Coopers & Lybrand, 644 F.2d 811, 814 (9th Cir. 1981)); accord Forsyth, 114 F.3d at 1474.

Accordingly, based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Plaintiff's first amended complaint is dismissed, with leave to amend, for failure to state a claim;

2. The Clerk's Office shall send to Plaintiff a complaint form; 3. Within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order, Plaintiff shall file a second amended complaint;

4. Plaintiff may not add any new, unrelated claims to this action via his amended complaint and any attempt to do so will result in an order striking the amended complaint; and

5. If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint, the Court will dismiss this action, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120622

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