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Recino v. Unknown

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 27, 2016

ROBERT R. RECINO, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Robert R. Recino (“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 originally filed this matter in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and it was transferred to this Court on March 6, 2015. Plaintiff’s third amended complaint, dated July 12, 2016, is currently before the Court for screening.

         I. Screening Requirement and Standard

         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. § 1915(A)(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. Courts are required to liberally construe pro se prisoner complaints. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285, 292 (1976).

         II. Plaintiff’s Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently housed at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California. Plaintiff states that the relevant events at issues occurred while he was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison (“Corcoran”) in Corcoran, California, and at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility (“R.J. Donovan”) in San Diego, California, after he was transferred.

         Plaintiff’s complaint asserts a claim against two Unknown Correctional Officers, employed at Corcoran; Dr. Jeffrey Neubarth, a doctor employed at Corcoran; Dr. Shyam Nair, a doctor employed at Corcoran; Dr. Klarich, at doctor employed at Corcoran Memorial Hospital; and Dr. Frederick Howden, a doctor employed at R.J. Donovan.

         Plaintiff alleges: While he was at Corcoran, two or three inmates somehow discovered that he was convicted in a sexually sensitive case, and they attacked him. Two unknown correctional officers witnessed the attack by the other inmates, but failed to stop it; they stood by and watched, and did nothing until after the unnamed inmates were through with Plaintiff. The two or three inmates’ names were never disclosed, and the two unknown officers’ names were also never disclosed. The two unknown correctional officers thereafter left Plaintiff without medical attention for a very long period of time, but eventually took Plaintiff to the prison infirmary.

         As a result of the beatings, Plaintiff suffered considerable brain damage, and continues to suffer brain damage, resulting in numerous strokes, paralyzing his left side facial muscles, and restricting his speech, causing him to suffer slurred speech. Plaintiff’s back injuries continue to worsen over time, and he may eventually have to use a wheelchair for stability.

         Defendants Neubarth, Nair, and Klarich all failed to properly diagnose Plaintiff, which gave cause for his medical condition to worsen, eventually having strokes, which paralyzed his left side. Plaintiff’s prison medical records reflect all infirmities, including injuries sustained during the attack. Plaintiff submitted his records with his original complaint, but is unable to secure more copies within any six (6) to twelve (12) month period.

         Plaintiff alleges Eighth Amendment violations against the two unnamed correctional officers, and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs against the physician defendants that treated him at Corcoran and R.J. Donovan after he was transferred.

         III. ...


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