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Montanez v. Velasco

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 4, 2013

PAUL MONTANEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
VELASCO, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, RECOMMENDING TO DENY DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF No. 25)

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Paul Montanez ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action. Plaintiff filed this action on February 22, 2012. He filed a First Amended Complaint on November 5, 2012. (ECF No. 13.).

On February 12, 2013, the Court issued an order finding cognizable claims against Defendants Velasco and Murry for deliberate indifference, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and negligence, and against Defendant California Correctional Institute ("CCI") for violations of the Americans with Disability Act ("ADA") and Rehabilitation Act ("RA"). (ECF No. 16.)

On May 10, 2013, Defendant CCI filed this Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 25.) Plaintiff opposed the motion on June 21, 2013, and Defendant filed his reply on June 27, 2013. (ECF No. 36.) The motion is deemed submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230( l ).

I. LEGAL STANDARD

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its face. 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)) (quotation marks omitted); Conservation Force v. Salazar , 646 F.3d 1240, 1241-42 (9th Cir. 2011); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The Court must accept the well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Daniels-Hall v. National Educ. Ass'n , 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010); Sanders v. Brown , 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007); Huynh v. Chase Manhattan Bank , 465 F.3d 992, 996-97 (9th Cir. 2006); Morales v. City of Los Angeles , 214 F.3d 1151, 1153 (9th Cir. 2000). Further, although the pleading standard is now higher, the Ninth Circuit has continued to emphasize that 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 (9th Cir. May 25, 2012); Watison v. Carter , 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012); Hebbe v. Pliler , 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted).

II. ALLEGATIONS IN PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT[1]

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Men, in Tehachapi, California, where the events in the complaint occurred. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant CCI violated his rights under the ADA and RA.

On May 4, 2009, Plaintiff's primary care physician issued him a comprehensive accommodation chrono, requiring Plaintiff to be cuffed with waist chains and his hands at his sides at all times to prevent pain. On November 13, 2008 and April 16, 2009, Plaintiff had surgery to his right dominant hand as a result of a non-healing fracture. Plaintiff's physician instructed him not to lift, pull, push, twist, or grab with his right hand, which was still in a cast as a result of the surgery. On Jun 25, 2009, Plaintiff's doctor stated that his hand was not fully healed and that he could not push, pull, lift, grasp, or grab with his right hand. Plaintiff alleges that this condition qualifies him as a qualified person with a disability under the ADA.

On May 4, 2009, Plaintiff's primary care physician issued him a comprehensive accommodation chrono, requiring Plaintiff to be cuffed with waist chains and his hands at his sides at all times to prevent pain. Plaintiff alleges this chrono establishes that he was qualified to receive the benefit of waist chains. Plaintiff was discriminated against when CCI officers refused to honor Plaintiff's waist chain chrono during transportation to an outside hospital for treatment. As a result, Plaintiff suffered severe pain and pressure to his wrist and lacerations to his forearms from the flex-cuffs that the officers used to secure him. Plaintiff alleges that he suffered discrimination because of his disability and that CCI receives federal financial assistance.

Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Prior Screening Order

On February 12, 2013, this Court issued an order indicating that it had screened Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A and found that it stated ADA and RA claims against Defendant CCI. (ECF No. 16.) While the order finding a cognizable claim did not include a full analysis, [2] the Court conducted the same examination as it does in all screening orders. In other words, the Court's conclusion was based upon the same legal standards as this 12(b)(6) motion. Insofar as Defendant argues that Plaintiff's claim should be dismissed for failure to ...


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