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Thornberry v. Chau

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 2, 2018

DANIEL LEE THORNBERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES CHAU, et al., Defendant.

          ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          EDMUND F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, has filed a request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         I. Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Plaintiff has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff's application makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate order, the court directs the agency having custody of plaintiff to collect and forward the appropriate monthly payments for the filing fee as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2).

         II. Screening Order

         Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b).

         The instant complaint, filed January 16, 2018, alleges that in October of 2016, defendants Chau and Smith were deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's nerve pain, and that in or around July of 2017, defendant Bobbala was also deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's nerve pain. See ECF No. 1 at 3-7. Examination of the court's records, and plaintiff's own complaint, reveal that plaintiff has already commenced an action with a complaint concerning these allegations of deliberate indifference. See Id. at 2; Thornberry v. Kernan, No. 2:17-cv-0953-CMK (E.D. Cal.), ECF No. 1 (May 5, 2017 Complaint); ECF No. 9 (June 12, 2017 Amended Complaint). Therefore, the claims against defendants Chau, Smith, and Bobbala must be dismissed as duplicative of the earlier action. See Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1105 n.2 (9th Cir. 1995) (A complaint that “merely repeats pending or previously litigated claims” may be dismissed as frivolous under the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 1915).

         The complaint also alleges that on or around October 31, 2017, defendant Mohyuddin caused the Utilization Committee to deny plaintiff epidural steroid injections, which had been recommended by a specialist, and which were effectively the only remaining treatment available for plaintiff's ongoing nerve pain. Liberally, construed, these allegations are sufficient to state a potentially cognizable Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against defendant Mohyuddin.

         III. Order and Recommendation

         Accordingly, it hereby is ordered that:

1. Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 3) is granted.
2. Plaintiff shall pay the statutory filing fee of $350. All payments shall be collected in accordance with the notice to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation filed concurrently herewith.
3. Service is appropriate for defendant Mohyuddin.
4. The Clerk of the Court shall send plaintiff one USM-285 form, one summons, an instruction sheet and one copy of the ...

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