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Plaintiff v. Hirsh

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 20, 2014

PAUL FREEMAN LEWIS Plaintiff,
v.
M.D. HIRSH, et al., Defendants.

SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1)

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Paul Freeman Lewis ("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 initiated this action on September 9, 2013. The matter was transferred to this Court on September 12, 2013. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on September 9, 2013, is currently before the Court for screening.

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 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, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, 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).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler , 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). To survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss , 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff is currently housed at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, California, where the events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred. Although not entirely clear, it appears that Plaintiff brings this action against M.D. Hirsh and the medical receiver.

Plaintiff alleges as follows: Plaintiff is not under any doctor's care, is not taking any medication, and has no medical problems. On July 15, 2013, M.D. Hirsh categorized Plaintiff as "High Medical Risk." Plaintiff is a Christian Scientist and does not believe in medical science or doctors.

Plaintiff claims that M.D. Hirsh violated his First Amendment right to exercise and practice his religious beliefs by forcing medical treatment and by his classification as "High Medical Risk." (ECF No. 1, p. 7.) Plaintiff contends that M.D. Hirsh "is endeavouring [sic] to cause the inmate, Paul Freeman Lewis, to committ [sic] suicide by violation his First Amendment Right of his religion, tenets of Christian Science...." (ECF No. 1, p. 13.) Plaintiff asserts that he has refused countless medical ducats, which never should have been sent to him.

Plaintiff seeks to remove the "High Medical Risk" classification.

III. Deficiencies of Complaint

Plaintiff's complaint fails to satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and fails to state a cognizable claim against any of the defendants. As discussed below, Plaintiff will be given leave to cure these deficiencies. To assist Plaintiff, the Court provides the pleading and legal standards that appear applicable to his claims. ...


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