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Ware v. Pfeiffer

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 4, 2017

MARTIN WARE, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTIAN PFEIFFER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 1)

         Plaintiff Martin Ware is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, filed October 11, 2016. (ECF No. 1.)

         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. COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff was transferred to Kern Valley State Prison around April 10, 2013.[1] (Compl. 5, ECF No. 1.) About August 18, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a health care services request seeking medical treatment for staphylococcus-aureus (hereafter “staph”) symptoms. (Id.) Plaintiff had an open lesion in his mouth that caused him to have pain and difficulty swallowing for the next twenty-four hours. (Id. at 7.) Around August 21, 2015, Plaintiff asked Defendant Manasrah to give him penicillin to treat the infection and his request was denied. (Id.) Plaintiff also requested to be referred to a specialist so that he could receive oral surgery and that request was denied. (Id.) Defendant Manasrah told Plaintiff that since he had the condition for over fifteen years he was to gargle with salt water. (Id.) Plaintiff asked to be provided with salt from the kitchen due to his indigence, but his request was denied. (Id.) Defendant Manasrah scheduled Plaintiff for a follow-up appointment in two weeks. (Id.)

         On August 21, 2015, Plaintiff sent a confidential letter to Amber Norris requesting information on prison compliance with treating staph infections. (Id. at 8.) On August 24, 2015, Plaintiff sent a letter to Defendant Bitter summarizing the current medical issue. (Id.) Plaintiff requested that Defendant Bitter review the operational procedures for treating methicillin-resistant staph infections. (Id.) Plaintiff's request was denied. (Id.)

         Plaintiff saw Defendant Manasrah for an initial examination on September 4, 2015. (Id. at 7.) Defendant Manasrah told Plaintiff that she could see that his throat was swollen and the lesions had returned, but that his throat was always swollen. (Id.) Defendant Manasrah referred Plaintiff to his regular treating physician. (Id. at 8.)

         On September 10, 2015, Defendant Pineda wrote a response to the request Plaintiff had sent to Defendant Bitter stating that the medical staff will continue to make medical assessment of Plaintiff's condition and treatment. (Id.)

         Plaintiff filed an inmate appeal and requested that Defendant Sao authorize photographs to be taken of the lesions. (Id. at 9.) The appeal stated that there were several lesions inside the mouth and some kind of bacterial infection that had previously been diagnosed as staph. (Id.) Defendant Sao denied the request stating there were no cameras in the clinical treatment center and that the lesions only needed to be examined. (Id.) Defendant Sao looked in Plaintiff's mouth and told Plaintiff that he was able to see the lesion. (Id.) When asked if he was having pain, Plaintiff told Defendant Sao that he was having difficulty swallowing liquids. (Id.) Defendant Soa took a swab of the lesion and said he would prescribe Plaintiff penicillin and pain relievers for Plaintiff's throat. (Id. at 10.)

         On October 14, 2015, Plaintiff sent a letter summarizing the medical issues to Defendant Bitter. (Id.) Plaintiff requested that Defendant Bitter review the inmate appeal addressed by Defendant Sao. (Id.) Plaintiff's request was denied. (Id.)

         On October 16, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a request to receive the pain relievers to treat his throat pain. (Id.) On October 18, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a request to receive pain relievers. (Id. at 11.) On October 21, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a third request to receive pain relievers. (Id.)

         On October 22, 2015, Defendant Pineda issued a decision addressing Plaintiff's letter to Defendant Bitter informing Plaintiff that issues with his medical care were appropriately ...


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