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Paez v. Community Regional Medical Center

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 10, 2017

GUILLERMO G. PAEZ, JR., Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Guillermo G. Paez, Jr., an inmate in the Fresno County Jail, is appearing pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On February 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this action which was dismissed for failure to allege facts that any defendant was acting under color of law. (ECF Nos. 1, 4.) Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed March 6, 2017.


         The 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 on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek[] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         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 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (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 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.


         A. Plaintiff Has Not Stated a Claim Under Section 1983

         As Plaintiff was advised in the February 17, 2017 order dismissing his complaint with leave to amend, section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of a plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead, 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). In the first amended complaint, Plaintiff states that he went to the hospital on November 16, 2016 for treatment of a spider bite and an incision and drainage was performed by an unknown doctor. (First Am. Compl. 3.) Plaintiff ended up developing Methicillin Resistant Stah Aureus which he alleges is from contact with an infected medical instrument. (Id.) Plaintiff is seeking compensation of $500, 000.00. (Id. at 5.)

         Plaintiff does not set forth the theory on which he is bringing a federal action in this case and there are no facts alleged from which the Court can infer that the physician who treated Plaintiff was acting under color of law at the time the he treated Plaintiff.

         In the February 17, 2017 order dismissing the complaint with leave to amend, the Court found:

In this instance, although Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Fresno County Jail, he does not allege that he was a pretrial detainee or a prisoner on November 12, 2016. Further, it appears clear from the complaint that he was not in custody on that date. Plaintiff states that on November 12, 2016, he went to the emergency room to seek treatment for the spider bite on his arm. (Compl. at 5.) Plaintiff states that he has had to go back three times for skin graphing but the wound closed up due to Fresno County Jail's health care provider's limited funding. (Compl. at 5.) However, Plaintiff includes a medical record from December 29, 2016, which states:
HPI: 35 year old male s/p I and D of Right forearm abscess 11/13/16 by the orthopedic surgery team. Burns/plastics consulted for skin graft. The patient was admitted for surgical intervention on his large right forearm abscess. He underwent wound vac placement by plastic surgery, then decided to leave against medical advice. Lost to follow up.
Incarcerated, in general population, states is doing okay. Was taken out of wound vac weeks ago. ...

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