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Youngblood v. Clark

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 22, 2017

JESSE L. YOUNGBLOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
CLARK, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM FOURTEEN-DAY DEADLINE

          Barbara A. McAuliffe UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jesse L. Youngblood (“Plaintiff”), a state prisoner, proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 9, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's first amended complaint with leave to amend. (ECF No. 15.) Plaintiff's second amended complaint, filed on May 19, 2017, is currently before the Court for screening. (ECF No. 16.)

         I. Screening Requirement and Standard

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation 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, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff is currently housed at California State Prison, Corcoran (“CSP-Corcoran”), where the events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred. Plaintiff names Dr. Clark, Dr. Jeffrey Wang, Dr. Kim, John Doe One and John Doe Two as defendants. In summary, Plaintiff alleges that he injured his back, neck and shoulders during transfer from Salinas Valley State Prison to R. J. Donovan. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants Clark, Wang, Kim and John Does One and Two have violated his rights to medical care and treatment by denying him a back brace. Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, along with injunctive relief.

         III. Discussion

         A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, 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). 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. at 1974). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557.

         Although Plaintiff's complaint is short, it is not a plain statement of his claims showing that he is entitled to relief. Plaintiff fails to include factual allegations describing what happened, when it happened and who was involved. Plaintiff's conclusory assertions that he was denied certain a back brace are not sufficient.

         B. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 18, 20

         A party asserting a claim “may join, as independent or alternative claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a), 20(a)(2); Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). “Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.” George, 507 F.3d at 607. However, multiple parties may be joined as defendants in one action if “any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and [ ] any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). ...


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