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Millner v. Woods

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 5, 2017

JAMES MILLNER, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. WOODS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER FINDING SERVICE OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT APPROPRIATE AS TO DEFENDANTS WOODS AND HASHEM (ECF NO. 8)

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] On August 29, 2016, Plaintiff consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6.) Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's amended complaint filed October 24, 2016. (ECF No. 8.)

         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 is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) and is housed at Kern Valley State Prison (“KVSP”). Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against Defendants Dr. Woods and Dr. Hashem, dentists employed by the CDCR at KVSP, in their individual and official capacities, seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages.

         Prior to December 2014, Plaintiff had damage to his teeth requiring a lower partial. (Am. Compl. ¶ 7, ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff paid for a lower partial on December 29, 2014, and it was confiscated in a cell search. (Id. at ¶ 8.) After not having his partial for a year, Plaintiff told Defendant Woods that due to the delay in receiving his partial it would not fit when it was received. (Id. at ¶ 10.) On October 21, 2015, Plaintiff was interviewed by Defendant Woods regarding an inmate appeal. (Id. at ¶ 11.) Defendant Woods was supposed to add the replacement of a dental bridge to the appeal and did not do so. (Id. at ¶ 11.)

         Plaintiff attempted to submit two inmate appeals to add the replacement of the dental bridge to to the appeal but they were not processed. (Id. at ¶ 12.) On October 22, 2015, Plaintiff told Defendant Woods that due to not having his partial his teeth were being destroyed. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Defendant Woods visually examined Plaintiff's teeth and could see that they were deteriorating. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Defendant Woods did not provide treatment to Plaintiff's teeth. (Id. at ¶ 13.) The failure to provide treatment was causing Plaintiff pain and discomfort and affecting the quality of his life. (Id. at ¶ 13.)

         During dental visits Defendants Woods and Hashem expressed to Plaintiff that the absence of the lower partial was causing damage to his teeth, but did nothing. (Id. at ¶ 14.) Defendant Woods explained that Plaintiff would have to have his broken teeth extracted and Plaintiff requested that he receive his partial before all his teeth had to be extracted. (Id. at ¶ 15.)

         Plaintiff received a lower partial on February 9, 2016. (Id. at ¶ 17.) Plaintiff contends that the delay in receiving the partial resulted in extensive damage to his teeth which have not been treated. (Id. at ΒΆ 17.) Plaintiff is in a considerable amount of pain, ...


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