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Lopez v. Brown

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 3, 2018

ADAM R. LOPEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. BROWN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1.) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

          Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Adam R. Lopez (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action, which is now before the court for screening. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. (ECF No. 1.)

         II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). “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 is required to 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)). 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 state a viable claim, Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. The mere possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.

         III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at Centinela State Prison in Imperial, California. The events at issue in the Complaint allegedly occurred at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) in Corcoran, California, when Plaintiff was incarcerated there in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Plaintiff names as defendants Dr. Jackson, Dr. Brown, Smith (Orthopedic), Dr. Mets, Ross (Physician's Assistant), Dr. E. Chipendo, K. Allison (SATF Warden), and John Does 1-10 (Medical Committee) (collectively, “Defendants”).

         Plaintiff's alleges as follows. On September 5, 2011, Plaintiff suffered a serious injury to his right ankle. Specifically, Plaintiff detached and tore ligaments in his ankle. Defendants denied or delayed treatment for Plaintiff's serious medical needs from September 5, 2011, to October 2, 2013. Plaintiff put each defendant on notice numerous times about his need for medical attention. Defendants took no action to ensure Plaintiff received medical attention. Furthermore, Plaintiff's exams, test results, appointments, etc., were repeatedly lost.

         Defendants also denied Plaintiff pain medication and/or effective pain medication from September 5, 2011, through October 2, 2013, to alleviate the substantial pain he experienced due to his injury.

         Plaintiff requests monetary damages and injunctive relief.

         IV. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

         The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party ...

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