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Williams v. Batra

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 20, 2018

MICHAEL B. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
SANJEEV BATRA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF THE COURT TO ASSIGN A DISTRICT JUDGE TO THIS ACTION FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF THE ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [ECF NOS. 8, 19]

         Plaintiff Michael B. Williams is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Plaintiff filed the original complaint on May 26, 2017. On August 2, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. (ECF No. 7.) Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint on August 17, 2017. (ECF No. 8.) On August 21, 2017, the undersigned dismissed the action for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief and judgment was entered. Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on September 5, 2017. (ECF No. 13.)

         On January 25, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded the action to this Court. (ECF No. 18.) Specifically, the Ninth Circuit found that because all the parties, including unserved defendants, had not consented to proceed before the magistrate judge, the order was vacated and the case was remanded for further proceedings pursuant to Williams v King, 875 F.3d 500, 503-04 (9th Cir. 2017). (Id.)

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         A 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)). The pleadings of detainees are construed liberally and are afforded the benefit of any doubt. Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th Cir. 2013); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations, ” Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989), and “a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled, ” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)). Also, while a plaintiff's 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).

         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, 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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II. COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff originally filed a civil rights complaint against medical doctor Defendant Sanjeev Batra on December 30, 2016, alleging unlawful confinement in the hospital medical unit, improper medical treatment, and retaliation. The action was dismissed on March 6, 2017, which is pending appellate review.

         On April 6, 2017, Defendant Batra conspired with Defendant Underwood, and various other hospital officials to violate Plaintiff's constitutional rights by mixing his Lantus and Humalog insulins with other unknown chemicals in retaliation for Plaintiff's prior complaint regarding the improper medical treatment.

         On April 23, 2017, Plaintiff got into a head argument with Defendant Underwood regarding his tempering with his insulins. On April 24, 2017, Plaintiff appeared before the unit-2, team committee to gain the return of his access to his hall-card which was put on hold by Underwood on April 23, 2017. The only question asked of Plaintiff by hospital Psychologist, Brett Follett, is whether Plaintiff was going to physically retaliate against Underwood for his involvement in mixing Plaintiff's insulins.

         Plaintiff seeks punitive damages in the amount of fifteen million dollars.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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