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Davis v. J. Grase

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 26, 2019

TERRENCE L. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
J. GRASE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER SCREENING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 1) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE

         Plaintiff Terrence L. Davis is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Currently before the Court for screening is Plaintiff's complaint, filed on December 10, 2018. (ECF No. 1.)

         I.

         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 on which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek[] monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         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)). Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations 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 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

         II.

         SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS

         The Court accepts Plaintiff's allegations in his complaint as true only for the purpose of the sua sponte screening requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         Plaintiff names Dr. Jerome Grase, Dr. Barney Rosen, Dr. W. Walsh, Dr. Jennifer Seymour, Jessica Russell, Melyssa MacQuarrie, Julia Mantonya, CCI Tascano, Janai Rodriguez, Johanna McCain, CCI Rubalcava, Kelly Nesson, H. Leiva, unnamed members of the IDTT on April 23, 2018, May 2, 2018, and August 1, 2018, unnamed CCI Tehachapi Medical Appeals Office Supervisors and Personnel, unnamed CCI Tehachapi Administrative personnel, unnamed CCI medical personnel, Dr. Jane/John Does, and Jane - John Does, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Case Workers, ACSWs, Supervisors, and LCSWs as Defendants.

         Plaintiff arrived at California Correctional Institution (“CCI”) on April 14, 2018. Upon arrival, Plaintiff informed unnamed correctional officers that he was having ongoing and severe mental health problems, including paranoia, homicidal episodes, anxiety attacks, racing thoughts, severe depressional bouts, and manic episodes. The correctional officers contacted unnamed mental health personnel, who interviewed and evaluated Plaintiff. After Plaintiff was assessed, the mental health personnel concluded that Plaintiff had to be sent to CCI's crisis beds and then transferred to Kern Valley State Prison's (“KVSP”) mental health crisis beds. On April 15, 2018, Plaintiff was transported from CCI's crisis beds to KVSP's crisis beds, for acute care and/or treatment, and was received and processed by unnamed KVSP mental health personnel. Plaintiff informed the KVSP mental health personnel about his immediate and acute psychiatric problems.

         While Plaintiff missed his first Interdisciplinary Treatment Team (“IDTT”) hearing due to his mental health problems, he attended the second IDTT hearing on April 23, 2018. At the hearing, Plaintiff described his immediate, severe, precipitating, and decompensating mental health problems. Further, Plaintiff told the IDTT hearing about his history. Plaintiff explained that, while he was housed at California Men's Colony, on August 31, 2017, he was given a Rules Violation Report for threatening to kill his then-psychiatrist. In September 2017, Plaintiff was sent to the state hospital, PIP-Stockton, for a 180-day program due to his ongoing psychological problems. However, Plaintiff was released from the state hospital after 20 to 26 days because he had developed plans to kill his PIP-Stockton treatment team.

         After he related his history to the KVSP crisis bed IDTT members, Plaintiff asserted that he needed to be transferred to an acute-care treatment program, like California Medical Facility in Vacaville. However, the KVSP IDTT members refused to send Plaintiff to California Medical Facility, stated that they would make a referral to send Plaintiff to an Intermediate Care Facility (“ICF”), and then discharged Plaintiff back to CCI.

         When Plaintiff arrived back at CCI on an unknown date, he was still as unstable mentally as when he left. Additionally, the KVSP IDTT members failed to refer Plaintiff to an ICF. Instead, the KVSP IDTT members made a suggestion that Plaintiff be transferred to an ICF.

         On an unknown date, Plaintiff was again sent to KVSP's crisis beds for the same mental decompensation, but only stated for an unstated number of days before being returned to CCI. When Plaintiff went to an IDTT committee meeting at an unnamed facility, the IDTT members stated that Plaintiff could be placed in an ICF program, but also placed in an unnamed program.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are officials at CCI and KVSP, who are operating within their assigned job duties and scope, who, with a culpable state of mind, arbitrarily failed and/or refused to provide Plaintiff with adequate, effective mental health and/or medical care for Plaintiff's ongoing and precipitating serious mental, physical, and emotional injuries and deprivations. (ECF No. 1, at 7.)[1] Defendants named are employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as mental health, warden, and medical officials responsible for the oversight of the operations and enforcement of mental health policies, protocols, practices, standards, and procedures required by state and federal laws, which create obligations to provide mental health care services, meaningful follow-ups, treatments, and A.D.A. accommodations, which are not being provided to Plaintiff. Plaintiff asserts that his ongoing mental, physical, and emotional deprivations continue to be disregarded and not adequately treated due to Defendants' direct bias and ulterior motives. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that all of the Defendants are acting jointly together to delay, deny, and deprive Plaintiff of adequate and meaningful mental health care, treatment, and A.D.A. accommodations in order to try and make Plaintiff hurt other people or himself.

         Additionally, Plaintiff asserts that he has no administrative remedies because CCI personnel have arbitrarily and wrongfully blocked his 602 HC health care appeals against the KVSP IDTT Crisis Bed committee members and against the CCI IDTT officials. Plaintiff asserts that, then, CCI officials wrote their own 602 HC health care appeal, without Plaintiff's knowledge and consent, in order to negate the ongoing staff misconduct and deliberate indifference.

         In relief, Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment, appointment of a special master to investigate Plaintiff's claims and provide all of Plaintiff's records to the Court, a preliminary and/or permanent injunction, an order transferring Plaintiff to an ICF 1-year program, appointment of counsel, attorney's fees, and issue an order for provision of appropriate mental health treatment.

         IV.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8

         “Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions, ” none of which apply to § 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), 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). “Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted). This is because, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-57; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969. Therefore, Plaintiff must set forth “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. 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, 556 U.S. at 678 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). The “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability” fall short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         While “plaintiffs [now] face a higher burden of pleading facts, ” Al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d 949, 977 (9th Cir. 2009), the pleadings of pro se prisoners are still construed liberally and are afforded the benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). However, since “the liberal pleading standard … applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations, ” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989), “a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled[, ]” Ivey v. Board of ...


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