United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT RODRIN'S MOTION TO
DISMISS THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND [DKT.
GONZALO P. CURIEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Correctional Officer
Rodrin's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Leandro Leonel
Gonzalez's First Amended Complaint. Dkt. No. 21.
Plaintiff filed an opposition on September 25, 2017. Dkt. No.
27. Defendant Rodrin filed a reply on November 3, 2017. Dkt.
to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), the Court finds the matter
suitable for adjudication without oral argument.
reasons set forth below, the Court will
GRANT Defendant Rodrin's motion to
dismiss with leave to amend.
February 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging that Correctional Officers Guzman and
Rodrin had violated his Eighth Amendment rights while he was
incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.
Dkt. No. 1 at 16-18. On April 18, 2017, the Court granted
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. No.
4. On August 1, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's
motion for leave to file an amended complaint to substitute
the correct name for Correctional Officer Guzman. Dkt. No.
15. On August 16, 2017, Plaintiff filed his First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”). Dkt. No. 18. Defendant Rodrin
filed his motion to dismiss on September 5, 2017. Dkt. No.
April 6, 2015, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Richard J.
Donovan Correctional Facility and housed in cell 201 in that
facility. FAC ¶ 2. Plaintiff's cell door allegedly
malfunctioned such that when the officer attempted to open
the door, it would only open 5-6 inches. FAC ¶ 3. As a
result, plaintiff or his cellmate Juan Rocha, would get up
and place their hands in the “little space”
between the door and the cell to pull the door open.
Id. ¶¶ 4-5. At approximately 7:20 AM,
Correctional Officer Guzman opened the door about 5-6 inches,
and plaintiff inserted his hand into the “little
space” with the intention to pull the door open as he
had previously done when prior correctional officers had
attempted to open the cell door. Id. ¶¶ 4,
9. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Guzman closed the door on
Plaintiff's right hand “malicious[ly] and
sadistic[ally]”, and that he failed to respond despite
Plaintiff's repeated requests to “open the
door.” Id. ¶¶ 9-11. After Plaintiff
made this request a “couple of times, ” Defendant
Guzman opened the door. Id. ¶ 11. Plaintiff
alleges that his fingers were deeply cut and that he had
mobility issues in his right hand and arm. Id.
¶ 12. Plaintiff's cellmate Juan Rocha observed that
Plaintiff's “fingers in his right hand” had
“deep cuts.” FAC, Ex. 25. Another inmate stated
that Plaintiff had “deep cuts on His fingers” and
that plaintiff had issues with physical activity using his
arms after the incident. FAC, Ex. 26.
called a porter and asked him to explain to Correctional
Officer Rodrin that he had a medical emergency. Id.
¶ 20. According to Plaintiff “Defendant Rodrin did
not [give] importance to Plaintiff's request for medical
subsequently showed Defendant Rodrin the cuts on his fingers,
which were still bleeding, and requested immediate health
care services, which Rodrin denied. Id. ¶ 24.
After Rodrin denied immediate health care services, Plaintiff
submitted on that same day a Health Care Services Request
Form describing his health issues. Id. ¶ 33.
Plaintiff was seen by Registered Nurse Calderon the next day.
Id. ¶¶ 21-24; 45. Plaintiff claims to have
exhausted all available administrative remedies at the
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in California,
pointing to a series of appeals regarding this issue that
began on April 6, 2015 and ended with a Third Level Appeal
Decision denying his appeal on November 3, 2016. Id.
alleges two causes of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
First, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Guzman violated the
Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment through his battery against Plaintiff and through
his failure to reasonably respond. Id. ¶ 88.
Second, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Rodrin violated the
Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment by failing to provide immediate health care
services to Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 99. This instant
motion is brought solely on behalf of Defendant Rodrin as to
the second cause of action.
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint. Navarro v.
Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). Dismissal is
proper where there is either a “lack of a cognizable
legal theory” or “the absence of sufficient facts
alleged under a cognizable legal theory.” Balisteri
v. Pacifica Police Dep 't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
Cir. 1990). To survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff
must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). While a plaintiff
need not give “detailed factual allegations, ” a
plaintiff must plead sufficient facts that, if true,
“raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. at 545. “[F]or a complaint
to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory
‘factual content, ' and reasonable inferences from
that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim
entitling the plaintiff to relief.” Moss v. U.S.
Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).
reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court
must assume the truth of all factual allegations and must
construe all inferences from them in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party. Thompson v. Davis, 295 F.3d
890, 895 (9th Cir. 2002); Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins.
Co.,80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). Legal
conclusions, however, need not be taken as true merely
because they are cast in the form of factual allegations.
Ileto v. Glock, Inc.,349 F.3d 1191, 1200 (9th Cir.
2003); W. Mining Council v. Watt,643 F.2d 618, 624
(9th Cir. 1981). Moreover, a court “will dismiss any
claim that, even when construed in the light most ...