United States District Court, E.D. California
KEON L. JEFFERSON, Plaintiff,
J. KATAVICH, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE
TO AMEND FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF No. 7)
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has consented to
magistrate judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c).Currently before the Court is
Plaintiff's first amended complaint filed September 14,
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).
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).
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.
is an inmate in the custody of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation at Soledad State Prison.
Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against Dr. Johal
who treated him at Wasco State Prison, where the conduct at
alleges that on September 21, 2015, he was being examined by
Dr. Johal who left the examination room door open while going
over Plaintiff's medical files and medical history.
(First Am. Comp. (“FAC”) 3,  ECF No. 7.) Dr.
Johal examined Plaintiff's genital area and blurted out
her physical examination findings. (FAC at 3.) There were
medical staff and a minimum of five other inmates no more
than two to three feet away. (FAC at 3.) LVN Bisbee and
Correctional Officer Marquez were standing in the open
doorway of the examination room. (FAC at 3-4.) Plaintiff
alleges that the medical care he received in regards to
confidentiality was not equal to that received by other
inmates and that Dr. Johal disclosed his medical information
to both inmates and correctional staff. (FAC at 4.) Plaintiff
alleges that he has been harmed because he is housed with
individuals who could harass or talk about his disease and or
symptoms. (FAC at 4.) Plaintiff is seeking monetary damages.
Right to Privacy
alleges that his right to medical privacy was violated when
Dr. Johal did not close the door to his examination room
during his medical visit. Initially, imprisonment carries with it
the loss of many significant rights, and some loss of privacy
is inherent in confinement. Seaton v. Mayberg, 610
F.3d 530, 534 (9th Cir. 2010). The Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment protects individuals against the
disclosure of personal matters, Whalen v. Roe, 429
U.S. 589, 598-99 (1977), which “clearly encompasses
medical information and its confidentiality, ”
Norman-Bloodsaw v. Lawrence Berkeley Lab., 135 F.3d
1260, 1269 (9th Cir. 1998) (citations omitted). “[T]he
right to informational privacy applies both when an
individual chooses not to disclose highly sensitive
information to the government and when an individual seeks
assurance that such information will not be made
public.” Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona v.
Lawall, 307 F.3d 783, 789-90 (9th Cir. 2002) (citations
have recognized a constitutional right to the privacy of
medical information in some context. Seaton, 610
F.3d at 537. The Ninth Circuit suggested in Seaton,
that “the right to informational privacy is a narrow
one, limited only to fundamental rights such as
“matters relating to marriage, procreation,
contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and
education. Huling v. City of Los Banos, 869
F.Supp.2d 1139, 1153 (E.D. Cal. 2012) (quoting
Seaton, 610 F.3d at 1153). It is unclear whether an
individual who seeks medical treatment has a constitutionally
protected right to privacy even though his privacy interest
is substantial. Seaton, 610 F.3d at 541; see
also Nat'l Aeronautics & Space Admin. v. Nelson,
562 U.S. 134, 138 (2011) (assuming without deciding that the
constitution protects informational privacy);
Huling, 869 F.Supp.2d at 1154-55 (finding defendants
entitled to qualified immunity for disclosing confidential
medical information to employer because the right to
informational privacy is not clearly established);
O'Neill v. Bannister, No. 3:12-CV-00030-LRH,
2012 WL 6968937, at *5 (D. Nev. Aug. 29, 2012), report and
recommendation adopted, No. 3:12-CV-00030-LRH, 2013 WL 424467
(D. Nev. Jan. 31, 2013), aff'd in part, dismissed in part
sub nom. O'Neill v. Peery, 540 F.App'x 586
(9th Cir. 2013) (recognizing the Ninth Circuit has not