United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING CLAIMS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (DOC.
Raul Ponce ("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 filed the Complaint commencing this action on April
21, 2015, (ECF No. 1), which is now before this Court for
11, 2015, Plaintiff consented to Magistrate Judge
jurisdiction in this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c), and no other parties have made an appearance. (Doc.
8.) Therefore, pursuant to Appendix A(k)(4) of the Local
Rules of the Eastern District of California, the undersigned
shall conduct any and all proceedings in the case until such
time as reassignment to a District Judge is required. Local
Rule Appendix A(k)(3).
LEGAL STANDARDS 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
or malicious, " that 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). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or
any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. §
8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil
actions, with limited exceptions, " none of which
applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema
N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a).
Pursuant to Rule 8(a), 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).
"Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair
notice of what the plaintiff‟s claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at
512. However, "the liberal pleading standard . . .
applies only to a plaintiff‟s factual
allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil
rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the
claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v.
Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th
Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d
266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).
alleges in his complaint that he was improperly denied pain
medication for back pain. Prior to Plaintiff's transfer
from Salinas Valley State Prison, to Corcoran State prison,
he was taking tramadol, methadone, T3, and Gabapitin for pain
management. Plaintiff suffered from back complications and
spasm. Defendants Wang, Macias, Clark, Gill and Ulit knew or
should have known about the existing medication condition.
Nevertheless, they failed to provide Plaintiff with the pain
medication and refused to refer Plaintiff to a back
specialist. Plaintiff's back pain makes it difficult to
sleep and causes him depression.
Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution entitles
Plaintiff to medical care and is violated when a prison
official acts with deliberate indifference to an inmate's
serious medical needs. Snow v. McDaniel, 681 F.3d
978, 985 (9th Cir. 2012), overruled in part on other
grounds, Peralta v. Dillard, 744 F.3d 1076,
1082-83 (9th Cir. 2014); Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d
1113, 1122 (9th Cir. 2012); Jett v. Penner, 439 F.3d
1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006). Plaintiff "must show (1) a
serious medical need by demonstrating that failure to treat
[his] condition could result in further significant injury or
the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, " and (2)
that "the defendant's response to the need was
deliberately indifferent." Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at
1122 (citing Jett, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir.
2006)). Deliberate indifference is shown by "(a) a
purposeful act or failure to respond to a prisoner's pain
or possible medical need, and (b) harm caused by the
indifference." Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at 1122
(citing Jett, 439 F.3d at 1096). The requisite state
of mind is one of subjective recklessness, which entails more
than ordinary lack of due care. Snow, 681 F.3d at
985 (citation and quotation marks omitted); Wilhelm,
680 F.3d at 1122.
under [§] 1983 arises only upon a showing of personal
participation by the defendant. A supervisor is only liable
for the constitutional violations of...subordinates if the
supervisor participated in or directed the violations, or
knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them.
There is no respondeat superior liability under
[§] 1983." Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040,
1045 (9th Cir. 1989) (citations omitted). Plaintiff must
demonstrate that each defendant, through his or her own
individual actions, violated Plaintiff's constitutional
rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676; Corales v.
Bennett, 567 F.3d 554, 570 (9th Cir. 2009).
Analysis of Plaintiff's Allegations
Court finds that Plaintiff has not stated a claim for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.
Plaintiff has alleged that he suffers from back pain and has
previously been prescribed certain medications, and that he
is not receiving those medications at this time. But
Plaintiff has not alleged facts that would show that his
failure to receive pain medication is based on a deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs, rather than a
difference in medical opinion about whether he needs the
medication. Alleging that certain doctors did not follow
recommendations of prior doctors does not state a