United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER (1) ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION; AND (2)
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DOCKET
NOS. 48, 61]
Roger T. Benitez United States District Judge
Torry Buchanan ("Plaintiff) is incarcerated at Richard
J. Donovan Correctional Facility ("RJD") in San
Diego. He is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, with a civil Complaint and First Amended
Complaint ("FAC") filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (Docket Nos. 1, 4.) Presently before the Court
is Defendants Dr. A. Garikaparthi and Dr. S. Roberts'
Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 48.)
October 16, 2017, the Honorable Mitchell D. Dembin issued a
thoughtful and thorough Report and Recommendation,
recommending that the Defendants' Motion be granted.
(Docket No. 61.) Objections to the Report and Recommendation
were due by October 30, 2017. (Id.) On November 1,
2017, the Court received a self-styled document dated October
29, 2017 from Plaintiff captioned 'Opposition to
Court's Judgment for Summary Judgment'. (Docket No.
67.) A Notice of Document Discrepancy was generated regarding
the filing and the Court ordered the document filed nunc
pro tunc to October 31, 2017.(Docket No. 66.) Defendant
did not file any specific objections. For the reasons that
follow, the Report and Recommendation is
Report and Recommendation carefully details the relevant
factual background of this case, which the Court incorporates
district judge "may accept, reject, or modify the
recommended disposition" of a magistrate judge on a
dispositive matter. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); see also
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). "[T]he district judge must
determine de novo any part of the [report and recommendation]
that has been properly objected to." Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(3). However, "[t]he statute makes it clear that
the district judge must review the magistrate judge's
findings and recommendations de novo if objection is
made, but not otherwise." United States v.
Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en
banc); see also Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 992, 1000
n.13 (9th Cir. 2005). "Neither the Constitution nor the
statute requires a district judge to review, de novo,
findings and recommendations that the parties themselves
accept as correct." Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d at
generally objects to the Report's conclusion that he
failed to state a claim against Defendants Dr. A.
Garikaparthi and Dr. S. Roberts ("Defendants") for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical need in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Docket No. 4 at 2-4.)
Both of Plaintiff's claims are related to Defendants'
alleged failure to provide adequate medical treatment that
led to the amputation of three of Plaintiff s toes.
(Id. at 3-4.) Having conducted a de novo
review, the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation in
Complaint and FAC allege two claims. (Id.) Claim 1
alleges that Defendant Dr. Garikaparthi violated Plaintiffs
Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment by failing to provide Plaintiff with adequate
medical treatment. (Id. at 3.) Claim 2 alleges that
Defendant Dr. Roberts similarly violated Plaintiffs Eighth
Amendment right by not fulfilling his obligation in his
supervisory capacity to ensure that Plaintiff's medical
needs were being adequately met. (Id. at 4.) In
essence, Plaintiff alleges the Defendants were aware of the
serious medical condition in his right foot big toe, and did
not take reasonable steps to minimize the risk caused by the
infection or protect him from injury, in this case,
amputation of three toes. (Id.)
Constitution 'does not mandate comfortable
prisons[.]'" Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994) (quoting Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S.
337, 349 (1981)). "[B]ut neither does it permit inhumane
ones, and it is now settled that 'the treatment a
prisoner receives in prison and the conditions under which he
is confined are subject to scrutiny under the Eighth
Amendment[.]'" (Id. at 832 (quoting
Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993)). Among
other protections, the Eighth Amendment "imposes duties
on [prison] officials, who must . . . ensure that inmates
receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care,
and must 'take reasonable measures to guarantee the
safety of the inmates[.]'" (Id. at 832
(quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 526-527
state a claim under the Eighth Amendment for inadequate
medical care, a plaintiff must allege facts to indicate that
a defendant was "deliberate[ly] indifferen[t]" to
his "serious medical needs." Colwell v.
Bannister, 763 F.3d 1060, 1066 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)). This
includes allegations under "both an objective standard -
that the deprivation was serious enough to constitute cruel
and unusual punishment - and a subjective standard -
deliberate indifference." (Id. at 1066 (quoting
Snow v. McDaniel, 681 F.3d 978, 985 (9th Cir.
Objection states in pertinent part ".. .relys on all of
the points and authorities cited within his Complaint."
(Docket No. 67.) Pro se pleadings and briefs are to
be construed liberally. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep
't, 901 F.2d 696 (9th Cir. 1990). When a pro
se plaintiff technically violates a rule, the Court
should act with leniency toward the pro se litigant.
Motoyama v. Haw. Dep't of Transp., 864 F.Supp.2d
965, 975 (D. Haw. 2012); Draper v. Coombs, 792 F.2d
915, 924 (9th Cir. 1986). Granting Plaintiff great latitude
in interpreting his Objection, the Court believes he is
objecting to the Report on two grounds: 1) that he
sufficiently alleged a serious medical need, and 2) that he
sufficiently alleged deliberate indifference. Aside from the
aforementioned, the Plaintiff does not raise any specific
objections to the Motion for Summary Judgment or Magistrate
Judge Dembin's Report. Plaintiffs objections are
the Report provides a thorough analysis of the facts of the
case and ultimately determines that under the circumstances,
it would be likely that a trier of fact would determine that
Plaintiffs complaints amounted to a serious medical
condition. (Docket No. 61 at 12-13.) The Court, having
reviewed the Plaintiffs objection, agrees with Magistrate
Judge Dembin's conclusion. Therefore, Plaintiffs
objection on this ground is moot.
as to the sufficiency of Plaintiff s allegations regarding
deliberate indifference, the Court agrees that Plaintiff did
not allege specific facts from which it may infer any of the
Defendants acted with deliberate indifference. "A prison
official is deliberately indifferent under the subjective
element of the test only if the official 'knows of and
disregards an excessive risk to inmate health and
safety.'" Colwell, 763 F.3d at 1066
(quoting Toguchi v. Chung,391 F.3d 1051, 1057 (9th
Cir. 2004)). "[T]he official must both be aware of facts
from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial
risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the
inference." Colwell, 763 F.3d at 1066 (quoting
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837) (internal quotations marks
omitted). "Deliberate indifference 'may appear when
prison officials deny, delay or intentionally interfere with
medical treatment, or it may be shown by the way in which
prison physicians provide medical care.'"
(Id.) at ...