United States District Court, E.D. California
SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO
STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF NO.
Barbara A. McAuliffe UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Blaine Clayton (“Plaintiff) is a state prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has
consented to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (ECF No. 9.)
October 6, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of California,
Sacramento Division. (ECF No. 1.) On March 3, 2017, this
action was transferred to the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of California, Fresno Division,
based upon proper venue. (ECF No. 6.)
complaint is currently before the Court for screening.
Screening Requirement and Standard
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). Plaintiffs 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).
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 plaintiffs
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).
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to
have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any
doubt resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627
F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). To survive
screening, Plaintiffs 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.
is currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison, located
in Ione, California. The events in the complaint are alleged
to have occurred at the Sierra Conservation Center
(“SCC”). Plaintiff names the following
defendants: (1) Dr. Steven Smith, a physician at SCC; (2) Dr.
W. Savage, a physician at SCC; (3) Dr. Lor, DDS, a dentist at
SCC; and (4) Dr. T. McDow, a supervising dentist at SCC.
alleges as follows: In May 2014, Plaintiff was jumped by five
inmates at SCC. Immediately after the attack, and in a state
of shock, Plaintiff was unaware that he had a broken jaw.
Within hours of feeling the pain, and being unable to chew or
speak properly, Plaintiff reported his injuries to a nurse in
administrative segregation (ad-seg). After such incidents,
all inmates are housed in ad-seg, whether victim or
placement in ad-seg, Plaintiff complained to the nurse, who
then went to the doctor and had Plaintiff placed on a liquid
diet. The nurse is not a defendant in this case, as she is
the only person that ordered medical care for Plaintiff
without denying, delaying, or interfering with said care.
was suffering from a broken jaw. Yet it took four days for
medical staff to treat Plaintiff. Even then, the treatment
provided was basic x-rays. Now, medical staff is certain
Plaintiff suffers from a broken jaw, as there is now medical
diagnostic proof of such.
Smith was the first person to see Plaintiff. After reviewing
the x-rays, Dr. Smith told Plaintiff, “Your jaw
isn't broken.” Plaintiff then told Dr. Smith that
he did not believe him, as he had already reviewed the x-rays
with other staff, and they showed him where his jaw was
broken. To this, Dr. Smith replied, “You're lucky
I'm even seeing you, according to the deal we have with
the state, I cannot treat you for 30 days.” Due to the
indifference of Dr. Smith, Plaintiff was needlessly forced to
suffer in pain and without medical care.
five days after the confrontation with Dr. Smith, Plaintiff
was seen by Dr. Lor. Additional x-rays were taken, and again
it was confirmed that Plaintiff s jaw was broken. Dr. Lor
told the Plaintiff that the supervising dentist was spoken
to, and that Plaintiff would be seeing an oral surgeon. Dr.
T. McDow never followed-up on the specialist visit, nor did
Dr. Lor or any of the other defendants. This is a pattern of
indifference, or pure neglect. Each doctor/defendant had a
professional and ethical obligation to ensure Plaintiff was
treated in a timely and adequate manner. Yet none of the
defendants did what is required of them under the medical
procedures of the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (“CDCR”), or the Eighth Amendment.
Savage was the other doctor supposedly treating Plaintiff. He
too neglected to ensure Plaintiff was treated in a timely or
the listed defendants has set guidelines under the medical
policies of CDCR, as well as the Eighth Amendment. These
well-established rules and regulations were not followed.
has suffered permanent effects from these acts, and will
provide medical proof of such upon request. Plaintiff was
also extremely damaged on an emotional level. Dr. Jensen,
Plaintiffs psychiatrist, documented Plaintiffs pain and
suffering throughout this incident, and even attempted to
obtain medical help for Plaintiff by calling supervisors.
appeal of the treatment Plaintiff was not receiving, CDCR
staff claim there was a delay in getting a doctor to the
prison to see Plaintiff. Assuming this was true, there are
measures in place to have people treated when it is of an
urgent nature. A broken jaw is the type of case that falls
within these measures. Rather than simply ignore Plaintiffs
urgent need for medical care, CDCR staff were required to
take the Plaintiff to an outside medical facility to correct
his medical condition. This goes too for relief from
Plaintiffs pain and ...