United States District Court, E.D. California
GRAYR P. AMBATI, Plaintiff,
DR. N. AMBATI, et al., Defendants.
ORDER RECLASSIFYING THIS MATTER AS A CIVIL CASE ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
JENNIFER L. THURSTON, Magistrate Judge.
Grayr Ambati seeks to impose liability on a doctor and the CEO of Fresno Community Regional Hospital. (Doc. 7) He claims that while a patient at the hospital Dr. Ambati committed medical negligence during a surgical procedure and Plaintiff suffered damages as a result. (Doc. 7 at 3) In particular, he claims he suffers ongoing pain and disfigurement due to the surgical scars of a second surgery needed to repair the damage from the surgery performed by Dr. Ambati. Id. He claims liability should be imposed on Tim Joselin for failing to adequately supervise Dr. Ambati. Id. at 4. Because it is not clear from the pleadings the Court has jurisdiction in this matter, and due to other pleading deficiencies, the Court ORDERS the matter DISMISSED with leave to amend.
I. Order reclassifying the matter
Though Plaintiff is in the custody of Bureau of Prisons, he does not seek to impose liability on any state or federal actor and does not complain about the conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 7) Rather, he complains about medical care he received at a private hospital. Thus, the matter is not properly classified as a "prisoner case" and is ORDERED to be reclassified as a "civil case." Local Rule 101.
II. Screening requirement
When a plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis, the Court is required to review the complaint, and dismiss the case if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the action or appeal is "frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or... seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2). A claim is frivolous "when the facts alleged arise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992).
III. Pleading Standards
General rules for pleading complaints are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A pleading stating a claim for relief must include a statement affirming the court's jurisdiction, "a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief; and... a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, and pro se pleadings are held to "less stringent standards" than pleadings by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521-21 (1972).
A complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the plaintiff's claim in a plain and succinct manner, and identify the grounds upon which the complaint stands. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Jones v. Cmty Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). The Supreme Court noted,
Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Conclusory and vague allegations do not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). The Court clarified further,
[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [Citation]. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. [Citation]. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement, " but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. [Citation]. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'
Iqbal, 566 U.S. at 678 (citations omitted). When factual allegations in a complaint are well-pled, a court should assume their truth and determine whether the facts would make the plaintiff entitled to relief. Id. However, legal conclusions are not entitled to the same assumption of truth. Id. Leave to amend a complaint may be granted when its deficiencies ...