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Spencer v. Reyes

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 26, 2015

BERNARD SPENCER, Plaintiff,
v.
REYNALDO REYES, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Bernard Spencer ("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 consented to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge. (ECF No. 5.)

On November 18, 2014, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's first amended complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 14.) Plaintiff's second amended complaint, filed on March 23, 2015, is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 24.)

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).

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 California Men's Colony, East, in San Luis Obispo, California. The events at issue in this action allegedly occurred while Plaintiff was housed at North Kern State Prison. Plaintiff names Reynaldo Reyes, R.N., and Tita Jose, R.N., as defendants.

Plaintiff's second amended complaint is disjointed and filled with legal argument and conclusory statements. As best as can be determined, Plaintiff alleges that on May 2, 2013, he was suffering pain on the left side of his face and head. Plaintiff was examined by Defendant Tita Jose. Plaintiff asked to see a doctor. Defendant Tita Jose then told Plaintiff to shut up, stop crying and that there was nothing wrong with him except a few scratches. Plaintiff told Defendant Tita Jose that he could not feel the left side of his face and he had chronic excruciating pain. Defendant Tita Jose ignored Plaintiff's request to see a physician. However, Plaintiff was given three stiches to his right eye, Tylenol and an ice pack. Plaintiff asserts that his face was broken. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Reyes was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's request to see a physician and for treatment of his injury. Plaintiff believes that Defendant Reyes was the supervising nurse on the day of his injuries.

III. Discussion

A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, 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). 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." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id .; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

Plaintiff's complaint does not contain a short and plain statement of his claim. Although brief, Plaintiff fails to include sufficient factual allegations to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Plaintiff's conclusory statements and legal arguments, without more, are not sufficient. ...


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