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Arthur v. Brown

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

June 4, 2013

TIMOTHY W. ARTHUR, Plaintiff,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, et al., Defendants.

ORDER OF SERVICE; DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO FILE DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING SUCH MOTION

LUCY H. KOH, District Judge.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. For the reasons stated below, the Court orders service upon the named Defendants.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

B. Legal Claims

In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that in May 2012, he requested medical attention for injured fingers. After repeated requests to see a doctor, Plaintiff finally was seen by a doctor in September 2012, who diagnosed Plaintiff with a "volar plate fracture" of his right ring finger. The doctor referred Plaintiff for hand surgery, which was ultimately denied by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bright. Plaintiff claims that he is still suffering from pain and a physical deformity due to the failure to properly care for his injury. Liberally construed, Plaintiff has stated a cognizable claim that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.

However, Defendants Governor Edmund G. Brown, Secretary Matthew Cate, Warden R.T.C. Ground, and Chief Medical Executive Dr. A. Adams are DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff alleges that they are responsible for the rules and policies related to medical care of incarcerated inmates. A supervisor may be liable under section 1983 upon a showing of (1) personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation or (2) a sufficient causal connection between the supervisor's wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation. Henry A. v. Willden, 678 F.3d 991, 1003-04 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1207 (9th Cir. 2011)). A plaintiff must also show that the supervisor had the requisite state of mind to establish liability, which turns on the requirement of the particular claim - and, more specifically, on the state of mind required by the particular claim - not on a generally applicable concept of supervisory liability. Oregon State University Student Alliance v. Ray, 699 F.3d 1053, 1071 (9th Cir. 2012). However, it is insufficient for a plaintiff only to allege that supervisors knew about the constitutional violation and that they generally created policies and procedures that led to the violation, without alleging "a specific policy" or "a specific event" instigated by them that led to the constitutional violations. Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937, 942 (9th Cir. 2012) (emphasis in original). Because Plaintiff has not sufficiently pleaded a claim against supervisor defendants, Defendants Governor Edmund G. Brown, Secretary Matthew Cate, Warden R.T.C. Grounds, and Chief Medical Executive Dr. A. Adams are DISMISSED without prejudice.

CONCLUSION

1. Defendants Governor Edmund G. Brown, Secretary Matthew Cate, Warden R.T.C. Grounds, and Chief Medical Executive Dr. A. Adams are DISMISSED without prejudice

2. The Clerk of the Court shall mail a Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons, two copies of the Waiver of Service of Summons, a copy of the complaint and all attachments thereto (docket no. 1), and a copy of this Order to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bright; Primary Care Physician Dr. Richard Mack; Correctional Treatment Center Dr. Sam Pajong; SRN II Nurse J. Gonnella; RN L. Turner; RN P.A. Chalich; RN R. Gabler; RN P. Maldonady; RN L. Villiaparampll; and RN G. Bautista at SVSP, and Dr. Jane Lee at Valley Radiology Medical Associates, Inc., 2581 Samaritan Drive, Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95124.

The Clerk of the Court shall also mail a courtesy copy of the complaint and a copy of this Order to the California Attorney General's Office. Additionally, the Clerk shall mail a copy of this Order to Plaintiff.

3. Defendants are cautioned that Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires them to cooperate in saving unnecessary costs of service of the summons and complaint. Pursuant to Rule 4, if Defendants, after being notified of this action and asked by the Court, on behalf of Plaintiff, to waive service of the summons, fail to do so, they will be required to bear the cost of such service unless good cause be shown for their failure to sign and return the waiver form. If service is waived, this action will proceed as if Defendants had been served on the date that the waiver is filed, except that pursuant to Rule 12(a)(1)(B), Defendants will not be required to serve and file an answer before sixty (60) days from the date on which the request for waiver was sent. (This allows a longer time to respond than would be required if formal service of summons is necessary.) Defendants are asked to read the statement set forth at the bottom of the waiver form that more completely describes the duties of the parties with regard to waiver of service of the summons. If ...


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