United States District Court, S.D. California
DAVE THOMAS, as Guardian ad Litem on behalf of JONATHAN THOMAS, Plaintiff,
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT JORGE NARANJO'S MOTION
[Doc. 46] TO DISMISS
JAMES LORENZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Jorge Naranjo's
(“Naranjo”) motion to dismiss the First Amended
Complaint as to him. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1),
the Court decides the matter on the papers submitted and
without oral argument. For the foregoing reasons, the Court
DENIES Naranjo's motion to dismiss.
litigation arises from a young man named Jonathan Thomas
(“Thomas”) attempting suicide by jumping off an
upper tier of an inmate housing unit. Thomas has suffered
from a variety of mental disorders throughout his life. He
has been diagnosed with epilepsy, mania, depression, and
schizophrenia. Because of his disorders, Thomas has
experienced hallucinations and delusions daily and has
attempted suicide on multiple occasions. Such troubles led
Thomas' father Dave to conclude that Thomas required the
constant observation of mental health professionals. Dave
therefore checked Thomas into a home that provided
twenty-four-hour monitoring and therapy.
months after admission, Thomas attempted to set a small couch
on fire inside of the psychiatric home. He was subsequently
arrested for arson of an inhabited structure and sent to
detention to await sentencing. While in detention, Thomas
attempted suicide twice by jumping off the second tier of his
housing unit. Shortly after the second suicide attempt,
Thomas pled guilty to arson of an inhabited structure and
received a sentence of three years. Two years into his
sentence, Thomas was transferred to Atascadero State Hospital
(“ASH”), because the authorities found that he
represented a substantial danger of physical harm to himself
and others. Thomas' commitment to this mental institution
has been involuntarily extended for a period of one year on
October of 2014, Thomas was transferred to San Diego Central
Jail (the “Jail”) to await a routine court
hearing before the San Diego Superior Court. In connection
with this transfer, the Jail received notification of
Thomas' previous suicide attempts. The Jail also received
discharge papers from ASH that noted his medical conditions,
stated he had attempted suicide twice by jumping off upper
housing tiers and ordered that Thomas receive
“intensive psychiatric care” and “close
psychiatric supervision.” Under these circumstances,
Jail policy required Thomas be placed on “Suicide
Precautions” and housed in a lower bunk on a lower tier
and placed under heightened observation. However, the Jail
staff decided to house Thomas on an upper tier of a housing
area comparable in supervision levels to conditions in
general population. Thomas again jumped from the upper tier,
sustaining substantial injuries.
Naranjo was involved in the decision to house Thomas on an
upper tier under normal supervision levels. Specifically,
Naranjo was a psychiatrist at the Jail. He received and
reviewed the above mentioned documentation of Thomas'
medical disorders and previous suicide attempts. Despite
knowledge of Thomas' problems and history of attempting
suicide by jumping off upper tiers, Naranjo approved Thomas
for housing on the upper tier under supervisory conditions
similar to general population.
October 6, 2015, Thomas' father (“Plaintiff”)
filed a complaint on behalf of his son against the County of
San Diego, Dr. Alfred Joshua-the San Diego Chief Medical
Officer for the Sheriff's Detention Services, and William
D. Gore-the Sheriff of San Diego County. The Complaint
alleged claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for cruel and
unusual punishment against all Defendants and negligence
against Defendants Alfred Joshua and William D. Gore. (See
Compl.) Plaintiff subsequently moved for leave to file an
amended complaint adding Jail employed nurses Larry Deguzman,
Mary Montelibano, and Marylene Allen; doctors Rick Leigh
Malaguti and Jorge Naranjo; Deputy David Guzman; and Public
Defender Connie Magana. Defendants opposed, arguing,
inter alia, that the proposed first amended
complaint would be futile because the statute of limitations
had run as to the added defendants and the amended complaint
would not relate back under California's DOE pleading
doctrine. The Court found that the proposed first amended
complaint would relate back and granted Plaintiff's
has filed the First Amended Complaint. (FAC [Doc. 38].)
Naranjo now moves to dismiss the First Amended Complaint as
to him. (MTD [Doc. 46].) Plaintiff opposes. (Opp'n [Doc.
court must dismiss a cause of action for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the
complaint's sufficiency. See N. Star Int'l v.
Ariz. Corp. Comm'n., 720 F.2d 578, 581 (9th Cir.
1983). The court must assume the truth of all factual
allegations and “construe them in the light most
favorable to [the nonmoving party].” Gompper v.
VISX, Inc., 298 F.3d 893, 895 (9th Cir. 2002); see
also Walleri v. Fed. Home Loan Bank of Seattle, 83 F.2d
1575, 1580 (9th Cir. 1996).
Supreme Court explained, “[w]hile a complaint attacked
by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed
factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127
S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (internal citations and quotation
marks omitted). Instead, the allegations in the complaint
“must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id. at 1965. A complaint
may be dismissed as a matter of law either for lack of a
cognizable legal theory or for insufficient facts under a
cognizable theory. Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds,
Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 534 (9th Cir. 1984).
First Amended Complaint lists Naranjo as a Defendant on the
first and fifth causes of action only. The first cause of
action alleges deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The fifth cause of
action alleges negligence. Naranjo seeks dismissal of both
claims on the grounds that they are untimely under the
applicable statutes of limitations. Naranjo further seeks
dismissal of the first cause of action under the theory that
he was not ...