The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ralph R. Beistline United States District Judge
Derrick Williams, a state prisoner appearing pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against medical personnel employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Tehachapi State Prison.
I. SCREENING REQUIREMENTS
This Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.*fn1 This Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted," or that "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief."*fn2 Likewise, a prisoner must exhaust all administrative remedies as may be available,*fn3 irrespective of whether those administrative remedies provide for monetary relief.*fn4
In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court looks to the pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."*fn5 "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation."*fn6 Failure to state a claim under § 1915A incorporates the familiar standard applied in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), including the rule that complaints filed by pro se prisoners are to be liberally construed, affording the prisoner the benefit of any doubt, and dismissal should be granted only where it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can plead no facts in support of his claim that would entitle him or her to relief.*fn7
Section 1983 suits do not support vicarious liability, a plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his or her rights.*fn8 This requires the presentation of factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief.*fn9 "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'"*fn10 Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true.*fn11
"Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice."*fn12
Prior to his transfer from Folsom State Prison to Tehachapi State Prison, Williams had been prescribed 40mg of Methadone as part of a pain management program. After his transfer to Tehachapi, his pain management program was changed, including a reduction in his Methadone to 20mg. Williams, following the prescribed departmental procedure appealed that decision. In denying Williams' appeal at the Director's Level:
ISSUES: Your CDCR 602-HC indicated you had been on Methadone 400 mg for the past three years, however, the medication was decreased to 200 mg. You stated you had been in extreme pain since your medication was decreased. You requested the following: Your prescription medication of Methadone is increased back to 40 mg dosage. PRIOR APPEAL HISTORY: Informal Level: The informal level appeal was elevated to the first level of review.
At the first level, submitted on September 22, 2010, you stated the same issues and requests as noted above.
The First Level Response (PLR) stated your appeal was denied. A review of your Unit Health Record (UHR) was completed by R. Serrano, License Vocational Nurse (LVN) on October 26, 2010, which reflected you were seen by Dr. Tate on October 6, 2010, regarding your medical issues. The Primary Care Provider (PCP) notes and based on an examination indicated Dr. Tate will continue to ...