The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge
FIRST SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE
I. Screening Requirement and Standard
Plaintiff Joseph Smith, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on July 26, 2012. The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)), and 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). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
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, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121-23 (9th Cir. 2012); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010), but Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible to survive screening, 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 678 (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 678 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at California State Prison-Corcoran, brings this action against Doctors Jeffery Wang, J. K. Yu, and Young Paik for violating his rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
On January 26, 2011, Defendant Paik performed knee replacement surgery on Plaintiff at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield and prescribed pain medication for Plaintiff. (Comp., Ex. 4.) A day or so later, Plaintiff's leg began to swell and he experienced excruciating knee and leg pain. Plaintiff's pain continued to increase until the pain medication he was taking was ineffective, and at the peak of Plaintiff's pain, the medication was discontinued. Plaintiff submitted a request to see the facility doctor, who was Defendant Wang at that time, and a request for a pain medication renewal.
On February 16, 2011, Plaintiff was called to the clinic to see a nurse, who screened him and notified Defendant Wang. However, Defendant Wang refused to see Plaintiff, to either evaluate his knee or renew his pain medication.
Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal on February 19, 2011, and on April 13, 2011, he was evaluated by a nurse as a result of his appeal. Plaintiff's pain medication was renewed through May 20, 2011, and he was referred to the orthopedic surgeon for evaluation.
On May 25, 2011, Plaintiff filed another appeal because his pain medication prescription expired. Plaintiff was eventually given "very spare pain medication" and told he would be scheduled to see the orthopedic surgeon, but no further action was taken and he was denied adequate pain relief by Defendants Wang ...