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James A. Mosier v. California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

July 2, 2012

JAMES A. MOSIER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS & REHABILITATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO. 10) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

FIRST SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff James A. Mosier is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)

Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (First Am. Compl., ECF No. 10) prior to screening of his Complaint. The First Amended Complaint is now before the Court for screening.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

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, malicious," or 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).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393--94 (1989).

III. SUMMARY OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, an epileptic, was incarcerated at North Kern State Prison (NKSP) on March 17, 2011. (First Am. Compl. at 5.) He was transferred to the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) on May 13, 2011. (Id. at 7.) He has suffered frequent seizures during incarceration, and they interfere with daily activities. (Id. at 5-14, 17.) Defendant medical staff at NKSP and SATF have been deliberately indifferent to his medical needs, have failed to accommodate his epileptic seizures, have denied or delayed medication and an ADA helmet, have failed to assist him during seizures, have improperly processed his grievances, and have failed to transfer him to a more appropriate medical correctional facility. (Id. at 2-3, 5-14.)

Defendant correctional staff at NKSP and SATF have been similarly deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. They have delayed delivery of medication and the ADA helmet, intentionally used flashlights triggering seizures, harassed him and accused him of "faking" seizures, improperly processed his grievances, and failed to transfer him to a more appropriate medical correctional facility. (Id.)

Plaintiff names Defendants*fn1 (1) the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR),*fn2 (2) M. Junious, NKSP Warden, (3) J. Yang, NKSP Nurse, (4) M. Cate, Director of CDCR, (5) K. Allison, SATF Warden, (6) E. Enonmeh, SATF Chief Medical Officer, (7) T. Brown, SATF Nurse, (8) J. Salinas, SATF Correctional Officer, (9) J. Williams, SATF Correctional Officer, (10) Vigarino, SATF Correctional Officer, (11) Toste, SATF Correctional Officer, (12) Rodriguez, SATF Correctional Officer, (13) Mata, SATF Correctional Officer, (14) Abeydna, SATF Nurse, (15) Villasenor, SATF Nurse, (16) Olemeko, SATF Nurse, (17) Does 1-50. (Id. at 3-5.)

Plaintiff alleges he has suffered traumatic brain injury (Id. at 3). He seeks a declaration that his federal rights have been violated, injunctive relief transferring him to a medical correctional facility more appropriate to his needs, and monetary compensation. (Id. at 18-19.)

IV. ANALYSIS

A. Pleading Requirements Generally

To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

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 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949--50.

B. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a)

"Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a) [states that]: A party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join, either as independent or as alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has against an opposing party. Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits, not only to prevent the sort of morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit produce[s], but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees - for the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)." George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).

The fact that claims are premised on the same type of constitutional violation(s) (here deliberate indifference and failure to accommodate) against multiple defendants does not make them factually related. Claims are related where they are based on the same precipitating event, or a series of related events caused by the same precipitating event.

The First Amended Complaint contains a number of unrelated claims in violation of Rule 18(a). There are at least two distinct groupings of unrelated claims within Plaintiff's allegations: (1) deliberate indifference and failure to accommodate claims against Defendants CDCR, Junious, Cate, Yang, and Does arising at NKSP, and (2) deliberate indifference and failure to accommodate claims against Defendants CDCR, Allison, Cate, Vigarino, Olemeko, Enonmeh, Mata, Williams, Abeydna, Toste, Salinas, Villasenor, Brown, Gipson, and Does arising at SATF.*fn3

The Court will review and discuss all of Plaintiff's claims and the law applicable thereto so that Plaintiff might evaluate which, if any, may be and should be pursued here and which, if any, may be and should be pursued in different action(s).

Plaintiff must file a separate complaint for each unrelated claim against different Defendants. If he does not, all unrelated ...


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