United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
LAWRENCE J. O’NEILL UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.
in the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest
caseloads in the nation, and this Court is unable to devote
inordinate time and resources to individual cases and
matters. Given the shortage of district judges and staff,
this Court addresses only the arguments, evidence, and
matters necessary to reach the decision in this order. The
parties and counsel are encouraged to contact the offices of
United States Senators Feinstein and Boxer to address this
Court’s inability to accommodate the parties and this
action. The parties are required to reconsider consent to
conduct all further proceedings before a Magistrate Judge,
whose schedules are far more realistic and accommodating to
parties than that of U.S. Chief District Judge Lawrence J.
O'Neill, who must prioritize criminal and older civil
trials set before Chief Judge O'Neill trail until he
becomes available and are subject to suspension mid-trial to
accommodate criminal matters. Civil trials are no longer
reset to a later date if Chief Judge O'Neill is
unavailable on the original date set for trial. Moreover,
this Court's Fresno Division randomly and without advance
notice reassigns civil actions to U.S. District Judges
throughout the nation to serve as visiting judges. In the
absence of Magistrate Judge consent, this action is subject
to reassignment to a U.S. District Judge from inside or
outside the Eastern District of California.
Screening requirement and standard.
Brett Lee Williams is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff’s complaint, filed on April 18,
2016, is currently before the Court for screening.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally frivolous,
malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or that seek 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)(i)-(iii). If an action is
dismissed on one of these three basis, a strike is imposed
per 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). An inmate who has had three or
more prior actions or appeals dismissed as frivolous,
malicious, or for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, and has not alleged imminent danger of
serious physical injury does not qualify to proceed in
forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g);
Richey v. Dahne, 807 F.3d 1201, 1208 (9th Cir.
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
mereconclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(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).
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 (quotation marks omitted). The sheer possibility that
a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere
consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the
plausibility standard. Id.
brings various claims against the following Defendants: (1)
Terry Eli Hill, M.D., in his official capacity as Chief
Executive Officer of California Correctional Health Care
Service (“CCHCS”); (2) J. Lewis, in his/her
official capacity as Deputy Direct of CCHCS Policy and Risk
Management Services; (3) C. Kerie, in his/her official
capacity as an employee of CCHCS Policy and Risk Management
Services; (4) Ronald J. Rackley, in his official capacity as
Warden of FSP; (5) Teresa Kamura-Yip, in her official
capacity as Chief Executive Officer of FSP/CCHCS; (6) K.
Young, in her official capacity as a Health Care Appeals
Analyst; (7) Benjamin Lee, M.D., in his official capacity as
Plaintiff’s primary care provider at FSP; (8) E.
Flores, M.D., in his official capacity as Plaintiff’s
health care provider at “NKSP”; and (9) I.
Ogbuehi, in her official capacity as nurse practitioner at
is and has been incarcerated in Folsom State Prison
(“FSP”) since January 10, 2013. Plaintiff was
previously incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison
(“CSP”), NKSP, and PVSP, though he does not state
when beyond indicating that he was at CSP in 2008, NKSP at
various times in 2009 and 2010, and at PVSP in May 2012. At
some point during his incarceration, Plaintiff was exposed to
Coccidioides immitis,  which caused him to develop obstructive
sleep apnea and allergic rhinitis. It appears that this
occurred sometime in 2008 while Plaintiff was incarcerated at
brings five claims against Defendants under § 1983. The
first two allege Defendants violated Plaintiff’s rights
under the Eighth Amendment and its state law corollary,
Article I, § 17 of the California Constitution
(“§ 17”). Both claims are based on
Plaintiff’s assertion that Defendants did so
by not informing Plaintiff that he had a high risk for future
irreparable serious medical harm from Cocci exposure; that
[his] Obstructive Sleep Apnea at night and Allergic Rhinitis
during the day were injuries linked to Cocci exposure while
Defendants housed Plaintiff in known Cocci endemic areas; and