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Richardson v. Corizon Health Care

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 21, 2018

JARED RICHARDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON HEALTH CARE, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEFENDANTS (ECF NOS. 14, 15)

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Jared Richardson (“Plaintiff”), also known as Janette Ryukuza Murakami, is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff initiated this action while detained in the Fresno County Jail.

         On January 26, 2018, the Court screened Plaintiff's first amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and found that it stated cognizable claims against Defendants Crossman and Vang for inadequate medical care in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, but failed to state any other cognizable claims against any other defendants. The Court ordered Plaintiff to either file a first amended complaint or notify the Court of her willingness to proceed only on her cognizable claims. (ECF No. 14.) On February 16, 2018, Plaintiff notified the Court of her willingness to proceed only on her cognizable claims. (ECF No. 15.)

         II. Screening Requirement and Standard

         The 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). Plaintiff's 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).

         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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). 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 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 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.

         III. Allegations in Complaint

         Plaintiff is currently housed at Salina Valley State Prison. The events in the complaint are alleged to have occurred while Plaintiff was housed in the Fresno County Jail. Plaintiff names the following defendants: (1) Corizon Health; (2) Mike Stribling, LMFT; (3) Edward Crossman, LMFT MH Supervisor; (4) Harold R. Turl, Ph.D, MHS; and (5) May Vang, Psychiatric RN.

         While a pretrial detainee, Plaintiff made requests for medical care. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Corizon did not take reasonable steps to provide medical care in violation of Plaintiff's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

         Beginning on November 16, 2015, Plaintiff filed health care requests attempting to obtain hormone replacement therapy. On December 18, 2015, Plaintiff filed a grievance seeking gender affirmative health care. The grievance came back sustained, but ignored Plaintiff's request for gender affirming health care. Plaintiff was informed that the reason it was ignored was because of a policy.

         Plaintiff filed a grievance indicating that Plaintiff was under a lot of stress and wanted to speak to an official regarding medical mistreatment. Defendant Turl replied that it was against policy to initiate hormone replacement therapy, and it only could be continued. Plaintiff was not treated for gender dysphoria, but did see a psychiatrist.

         On June 17, 2016, Plaintiff expressed in a grievance that depression and self-hatred ...


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