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Valerie G. Juarez v. Dr. Ray

March 13, 2013

VALERIE G. JUAREZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. RAY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

FIRST SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING CLAIM AGAINST DEFENDANT LEWIS, WITH PREJUDICE, AND DISMISSING REMAINING CLAIMS, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

First Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Valerie G. Juarez, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 9, 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.

II. Discussion

A. Allegations

Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, brings this action against Doctor Ray, a CCWF physician, and Doctor Marshall Lewis, a consulting orthopedic surgeon, for events arising out of treatment for her broken finger.

Plaintiff alleges that on August 4, 2011, Defendant Ray and his assistant attempted to adjust Plaintiff's broken finger despite knowing they could not properly reposition it. Plaintiff's finger was left crooked and immobile, and after she filed an inmate appeal, she was sent to Defendant Lewis on September 14, 2011. Defendant Lewis, an orthopedic surgeon in Bakersfield, commented that he always has to fix CCWF's mistakes and he changed all of Plaintiff's previous medical procedure orders. Defendant Lewis operated and placed pins in Plaintiff's finger, but her finger still does not bend and is at an uncomfortable angle.

Plaintiff alleges that she received negligent care, the surgery conducted by Defendant Lewis was of no benefit, she was in severe pain following the procedure, the pain medication provided was inadequate, and her bandage was only changed once. Plaintiff further alleges that the manner in which she was spoken to required her to express remorse for having filed an inmate appeal, she was made to wait hours for medical appointments, and inadequate medical care goes unchallenged in prison because inmates lack knowledge.

B. Claims

1. Medical ...


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