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Lear v. Manasrah

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 16, 2017

A. MANASRAH, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Plaintiff filed his initial complaint on January 17, 2017. (ECF No. 1.) On February 15, 2017, the Court severed Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Avila, Christensen, and Lewis, and transferred them to the Sacramento Division of the Eastern District of California. (ECF No. 9.) The Court subsequently screened and dismissed with leave to amend the balance of Plaintiff's original complaint. (ECF No. 10.)

         Plaintiff's amended complaint (“FAC”) is now before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 15.) Also before the Court is Plaintiff's May 8, 2017 motion for leave to amend, in which he seeks to add an additional defendant and additional factual allegations. (ECF No. 20.)

         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 from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         II. Pleading Standard

         Section 1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

         To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 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 color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda County, 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

         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)). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 677-78.

         III. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff brings claims for violations of the Eighth Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). He is incarcerated at High Desert State Prison (“HDSP”). However, he complains of acts that occurred at California State Prison, Corcoran (“CSP-COR”).

         With the exception of the severed claims, Plaintiff's original complaint named only A. Manasrah as defendant. (ECF No. 1.) Here, Plaintiff again names only Defendant A. Manasrah in the caption of his complaint. However, the complaint contains allegations against a number of other individuals and fails to make clear whether Plaintiff intends to proceed against these individuals as Defendants. They include an unnamed surgeon, unnamed medical staff providing post-surgical care, unnamed correctional officers, Dr. Beregoskokovya, Y. Mansour, “Chief Physician Surgeon” C. McCabe, Charles E. Young, “Custody Appeals Coordinator” D. Goree, “Health Care Appeals Coordinator” U. Williams, “Education Staff” G. Doan, “ADA LVN” S. Hernandez, and “Deputy Director Policy and Risk Management Services” J. Lewis.

         Plaintiff's only allegation against named Defendant Manasrah is as follows: Plaintiff is mobility impaired and uses, varyingly, a cane, walker, or wheelchair to get around. On June 1, 2016, Plaintiff saw Manasrah in relation to several incidents where Plaintiff fell down steps, including on and off buses. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Manasrah intentionally refused to “address” these falls “or any other issue concerning his back.” As a result, Plaintiff's back condition worsened and Plaintiff experienced unnecessary pain.

         Plaintiff's allegations against other individuals are as follows:

         Plaintiff alleges an unnamed surgeon performed a laminotomy operation with “bad surgical results.” He also alleges that unnamed medical staff provided him “ineffective” post-surgical care.

         Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Beregoskokovya “refused to examine or evaluate” Plaintiff or to “address his difficulty climbing steps.” He also notes that Dr. Beregoskokovya was unaware of the fall Plaintiff suffered while on his way to see her.

         Plaintiff wished to have medical personnel address his difficulty climbing bus steps. He filed an administrative appeal with respect to the fall he suffered on his way to see Dr. Beregoskokovya. On November 20, 2015, Y. Mansour saw Plaintiff with respect to this appeal. Mansour noted that there should be “alternative” transportation methods of getting Plaintiff to his medical appointment. Mansour also informed Plaintiff he “could ask custody (correctional officers)” to help him, but failed to instruct officers to help Plaintiff. Unnamed correctional officers would help Plaintiff go up and down steps on certain occasions. At other times, however, officers would not help. As a result, Plaintiff would stumble or fall, causing injury to his back, leg, and shoulder.

         C. McCabe and Charles E. Young also refused to address Plaintiff's falls or his difficulty climbing steps.

         On February 1, 2016, Plaintiff fell down steps again, injuring his back and causing “excruciating pain.” Plaintiff saw Mansour after this fall to again address his difficulty climbing steps. Mansour “dismissed” the fall, informing Plaintiff that his issue was a “custody” and not a medical issue. Later, on May 11, 2016, Mansour falsely claimed Plaintiff refused to attend a medical appointment.

         On February 25, 2016, D. Goree, U. Williams, C. McCabe, G. Doan, and S. Hernandez convened a “Reasonable Accommodation Panel” in which it was determined that staff “can assist” Plaintiff while getting on and off a bus “when assistance is needed.” However, this panel did not issue any instructions requiring officers to assist Plaintiff.

         Plaintiff seeks monetary relief and a declaration that his rights were violated.

         IV. Analysis

         A. High Desert State Prison

         To the extent Plaintiff sets forth any allegations arising from his confinement in HDSP, that all such claims have been severed and transferred to the Sacramento Division of the Eastern District. (ECF No. 9.) Accordingly, the Court will not address those claims here. If Plaintiff wishes to bring forth further claims in relation to his ...

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