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Rocky Holmes v. Dr. Campbell

April 19, 2013

ROCKY HOLMES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. CAMPBELL, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER SEVERING DEFENDANTS ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE IN THIRTY DAYS

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).

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 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).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), 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). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

II. Plaintiff's Claims

Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at CSP Corcoran, brings this civil rights action against individuals employed by the CDCR at the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi. The events that give rise to this lawsuit occurred while Plaintiff was housed at CCI Tehachapi and Salinas Valley State Prison. Plaintiff names the following individual defendants at CCI Tehachapi: Dr. Campbell, M.D.; Dr. Nissani, M.D.; Dr. Grim, M.D.; Dr. Clark, M.D. Plaintiff names Dr. Rhoads, M.D. and Dr. Sepulveda, M.D., CDCR employees at Salinas Valley State Prison. Plaintiff claims that he has been subjected to inadequate medical care such that it violates the Eighth Amendment's proscription of cruel and unusual punishment.

A. Salinas Valley Defendants

Plaintiff names as defendants Dr. Rhoads and Dr. Sepulveda, employees of the CDCR at Salinas Valley State Prison. The federal venue statute requires that a civil action, other than one based on diversity jurisdiction, be brought only in "(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located; (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject of the action is situated; or (3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such action." 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

Neither Dr. Rhoads nor Dr. Sepulveda reside in this district. The claims against Dr. Rhoads and Dr. Sepulveda arose in Monterey County, which is in the Northern District of California. Therefore, plaintiff's claim against Dr. Rhoads and Dr. Sepulveda should have been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In the interest of justice, a federal court may transfer a complaint filed in the wrong district to the correct district. See 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a); Starnes v. McGuire, 512 F.2d 918, 932 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

Accordingly, the Court will direct the Clerk's Office to transfer Plaintiff's claims against Dr. Rhoads and Dr. Sepulveda to the Northern District.

B. Tehachapi Defendants

"[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, 97 S.Ct. 295 (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 ...


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