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Klensch v. Ahmed

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 10, 2017

WILLIAM KLENSCH, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. ZAHED AHMED; DOCTOR W. TARRAR; DR.G. KALISHER; DR. M. BHATTI; CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER S. POSSON, D.O.; CHIEF PHYSICIAN D. BRIGHT, D.O.; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS & REHABILATION; and the CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES; Defendants.

          ORDER OF SERVICE

          JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, a California prisoner, filed this pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against medical personnel at the California Training Facility (“CTF”) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Correctional Health Services.[1]Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed with leave to amend, and Plaintiff filed a timely amended complaint. Because the First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), when liberally construed, cures the deficiencies in the claims against the individual defendants, it is ordered served upon them. The claims against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Correctional Health Services are dismissed because Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against them upon which relief can be granted.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 1974.

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         LEGAL CLAIMS

         Plaintiff alleges that he suffers from Hepatitis C and hearing loss for which the individual defendants provided inadequate treatment, including misdiagnosis, delays and the wrong medication. When liberally construed, his allegations are sufficient to state a cognizable claim that the individual defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

         Plaintiff also names the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) and the California Correctional Health Services (“CCHS”) as defendants, but he makes no allegations against them. In the order dismissing the complaint with leave to amend, the Court informed Plaintiff, “To state a claim upon which relief may be granted, Plaintiff must allege in a coherent and understandable manner the actions and omissions of each Defendant --- with approximate dates --- that amounted to deliberate indifference to his Hepatitis C and cirrhosis.” (ECF No. 9). Plaintiff has failed to cure this deficiency in his claims against the CDCR and the CCHS, which he was warned would result in the dismissal of his claims. Nor are these Defendants liable simply as employers of the prison officials who allegedly violated Plaintiff's rights. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989) (under no circumstances is there respondeat superior liability under Section 1983). Accordingly, the claims against the CDCR and the CCHS must be dismissed.

         CONCLUSION

         1. The claims against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Correctional Health Services are DISMISSED.

         2. The Clerk shall issue a summons and Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form and the United States Marshal shall serve, without prepayment of fees, the summons, Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, a copy of the FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF No. 14) with attachments, and a copy of this order on Defendants Dr. Zahed Ahmed; Dr. W. Tarrar; Dr. G. Kalisher; Dr. M. Bhatti; Chief Medical Officer S. Posson, D.O.; and Chief Physician D. Bright, D.O. at the California Training Facility.

         The Clerk shall also mail a courtesy copy of the Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, the complaint with all attachments and a copy of this order ...


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