United States District Court, E.D. California
M. COTA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the Court
is Plaintiff's first amended complaint (ECF No. 6).
Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his rights under the
SCREENING REQUIREMENT AND STANDARD
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or
(3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require complaints contain a
“…short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief.” See
McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)). 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).
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to
have their pleadings liberally construed and are afforded the
benefit of any doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338,
342 (9th Cir. 2010) (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
(quotation marks omitted); Moss v. United States Secret
Service, 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, 572F.3d
names the following as defendants: (1) Robert Burton (2) Dr.
Hla Win (3) Dr. T. Bzoskie (4) Dr. Malet (5) Dr. Robert
Chapnick (6) Dr. Shefanli Awatani (7) Dr. Robert Duncan.
See ECF No. 6, at 1, 3. Plaintiff raises four
claims. First, Plaintiff alleges Defendants Win, Bzoskie,
Malet, Chapnick, Awatani, and Duncan violated his Eighth
Amendment right to adequate medical care by denying him
medically prescribed orthotic boots Plaintiff requires to
manage symptoms of his diabetes. Second, Plaintiff alleges
Defendant Win violated his Eighth Amendment right to adequate
medical care by prescribing him a previously
“failed” medication to treat his severe rosacea
that caused allergic reactions. Plaintiff also alleges
Defendant Chapnick violated his Eighth Amendment rights to
adequate medical care by denying his administrative appeal on
the same issue regarding his inability to get a different
prescription to treat his rosacea. Defendant Chapnick denied
Plaintiff's appeal stating it was not “medically
indicated” for Plaintiff to switch from a primary care
provider to a dermatology specialist because he was already
prescribed the allegedly failed medication. Third, Plaintiff
alleges Defendant Win violated his Eighth Amendment right to
adequate medical care by ignoring Plaintiff's complaints
after a cataract and lens implant replacement surgery in his
right eye. Plaintiff allegedly complained to Defendant Win
“for months about loss of vision, with pain, swelling
and the eye being severally [sic] blood shot.”
Id. at 21. Plaintiff alleges when he complained to
Defendant Win, he was “ignored or denied any medical
care or treatment.” Id. Lastly, Plaintiff
alleges his Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care
was violated when he did not receive his Direct Observation
Therapy (“DOT”) morphine pain medications on
December 19, 2016 and December 21, 2016, but Plaintiff fails
to identify any of the named Defendants in this lawsuit.
currently set forth, this Court finds Plaintiff alleges
sufficient facts in his first, second, and third claim to
pass screening. However, Plaintiff's fourth claim fails
to pass screening because Plaintiff does not make the
required designation of a specific Defendant alleged to be
responsible for those claims. Further, Plaintiff's claims
as against Defendant Robert Burton fail to pass screening as
impermissibly seeking to impose liability under a respondeat
Court observes Defendant Robert Burton, who Plaintiff
identifies as the warden, holds a supervisory position.
Supervisory personnel are generally not liable under §
1983 for the actions of their employees. See Taylor v.
List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989) (holding that
there is no respondeat superior liability under § 1983).
A supervisor is only liable for the constitutional violations
of subordinates if the supervisor participated in or directed
the violations. See id. The Supreme Court has
rejected the notion that a supervisory defendant can be
liable based on knowledge and acquiescence in a
subordinate's unconstitutional conduct because government
officials, regardless of their title, can only be held liable
under § 1983 for his or her own conduct and not the
conduct of others. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 676 (2009). Supervisory personnel who implement a policy
so deficient that the policy itself is a repudiation of
constitutional rights and the moving force behind a
constitutional violation may, however, be liable even where
such personnel do not overtly participate in the offensive
act. See Redman v. Cnty of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435,
1446 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc).
defendant holds a supervisory position, the causal link
between such defendant and the claimed constitutional
violation must be specifically alleged. See Fayle v.
Stapley, 607 F.2d 858, 862 (9th Cir. 1979); Mosher
v. Saalfeld, 589 F.2d 438, 441 (9th Cir. 1978). Vague
and conclusory allegations concerning the involvement of
supervisory personnel in civil rights violations are not
sufficient. See Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d
266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). “[A] plaintiff must plead
that each Government-official defendant, through the
official's own individual actions, has violated the
constitution.” Iqbal, 662 U.S. at 676.
Plaintiff alleges Defendant Robert Burton is liable as
supervisory personnel-asserting that as supervisors,
Defendant Burton is liable for the conduct of his
subordinates. This is a respondeat superior theory of
liability, which is not cognizable under § 1983. See
Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989).
Plaintiff is advised that in amending the complaint, he
should be cognizant of the legal standard related to
supervisory liability, outlined above, and note that a
supervisor can only be held liable for their own actions or
inactions resulting in the violation of ...