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Garcia v. Riaz

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 22, 2018

N. RIAZ, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is defendant Bodenhamer's motion to dismiss (Doc. 13).[1]


         Plaintiff names the following as defendants: (1) N. Riaz; and (2) D. Bodenhamer. Plaintiff states that he was injured by prison staff while housed at Corcoran State Prison. Plaintiff further states that he “won a successful settlement” in Garcia v. Masiel, et al., E.D. Cal. case no. 1:07-CV-1750-AWI-SMS, “wherein plaintiff alleged excessive force causing injury.” Plaintiff alleges:

Although not specifically written, yet certainly implied, plaintiff was led to believe the medical treatments and pain medication that would be needed would be forever provided as long as he remained in the custody of the CDCR, and for that reason did not believe at the time of settlement that he needed to include those terms in the written instrument of the agreement.

         Plaintiff claims that, on August 25, 2015, defendant Riaz, a prison doctor, “took plaintiff's pain management medications without any regard to the extensive historical record of need. . . .” Plaintiff alleges that defendant Riaz acted consistent with “CDCR's use of sweeping.” According to plaintiff:

Plaintiff has personally witnessed CDCR's use of sweeping, arbitrary unconstitutional blanket instructions where a [sic] institution will send Dr.'s throughout an institution with instructions to take any and all pain medications for inmates receiving chronic pain management. No real method or justification is used, and it is because of one of these “sweeps” that plaintiff became victim of that this claim arises.

         Plaintiff also claims: “When plaintiff complained of the obvious denial of any objective review for his appeal, CDCR then sent a Dr.'s ‘assistant, ' defendant Bodenhamer.” Plaintiff alleges:

Plaintiff believes, and therefore alleges herein, that defendant Bodenhamer, without the qualifications, expertise, education, or any other reasonable means to believe she was competent to do so, denied plaintiff's request to be provided treatment as proved adequate and appropriate by specialists and experts, in an effort at containing the improper, and unconstitutional use of blanket instructions to prison Dr.'s, by making sure inmates are not allowed to have their appeals (or staff's actions) heard by anyone “out-side the loop.” Bodenhamer's actions were intentional, goal oriented, and unconstitutional, where her denial of relief was done to ensure [sic] plaintiff was denied pain relief, as she, herself, can not even legally write a prescription without a Dr.'s approval. To review the acts of an actual Dr. who has a license to practice medicine is proof in itself.


         In considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all allegations of material fact in the complaint as true. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). The court must also construe the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); see also Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976); Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813, 816 (9th Cir. 1994) (per curiam). All ambiguities or doubts must also be resolved in the plaintiff's favor. See Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). However, legally conclusory statements, not supported by actual factual allegations, need not be accepted. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009). In addition, pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).

         Rule 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief” in order to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). However, in order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain more than “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. at 555-56. The complaint must contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “Where a complaint pleads facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it ‘stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility for entitlement to relief.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

         In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court generally may not consider materials outside the complaint and pleadings. See Cooper v. Pickett, 137 F.3d 616, 622 (9th Cir. 1998); Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 453 (9th Cir. 1994). The court may, however, consider: (1) documents whose contents are alleged in or attached to the complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, see Branch, 14 F.3d at 454; (2) documents whose authenticity is not in question, and upon which the complaint necessarily relies, but which are not attached to the complaint, see Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001); and (3) documents and materials of which the court may take judicial notice, see Barron v. Reich, 13 F.3d 1370, 1377 (9th Cir. 1994).

         Finally, leave to amend must be granted “[u]nless it is absolutely clear that no amendment can cure the defects.” Lucas v. Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam); see also ...

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