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Luna v. Moon

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 30, 2017

EDWARD LUNA, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. MOON, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302.

         Plaintiff's original complaint was filed on March 7, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) On May 27, 2016, Plaintiff's original complaint was dismissed with leave to amend, for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. (ECF No. 7.) On June 17, 2016, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff's first amended complaint is currently before the Court for screening.

         I.

         SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         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.

         II.

         FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at California State Prison (“CSP”) Corcoran, brings this civil rights action against Defendant correctional officials employed by the CDCR at CSP Corcoran. Plaintiff names the following individual Defendants: Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Wang, M.D.; Dr. Moon, M.D.; Dr. Ulit, M.D.

         Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that they violated his rights to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

         Plaintiff alleges that on March 4, 2013, he sought treatment for severe pain, tingling, and numbness in his right hand. Plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in September 2013, by Dr. Smith and Dr. Alade, both of whom were orthopedic specialists and both of whom recommended surgery.

         Defendant CMO Dr. Wang, a general practitioner, denied or cancelled the recommendation for surgery, and directed Dr. Ulit and Dr. Moon to treat Plaintiff with aspirin. The only possible reason for this was cost. Dr. Wang resisted all medical appeals and opposed surgery. Dr. Wang was the “medical professional who most directly refused ...


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