United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a California inmate under the authority of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
Plaintiff proceeds pro se with a complaint filed pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a request for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The
complaint challenges medical care that plaintiff received
while incarcerated at California State Prison -
action is referred to the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and Local Rule 302(c). For the following reasons,
plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis is
granted. On screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a),
the court finds that plaintiff's Claims One through Three
(alleging deliberate indifference to plaintiff's broken
hand by defendants Moghaddam, Spilman, Relano, Poppachan, Cho
and Lim) adequate for service, but that Claim Four fails to
state a claim. Plaintiff will be given the choice of (1)
proceeding forthwith on Claims One through Three and
dismissing Claim Four, or (2) amending his complaint to
attempt to state a claim against defendants Burnett, Lacy and
In Forma Pauperis Application
has submitted an affidavit and prison trust account statement
that make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
See ECF No. 2. Accordingly, plaintiff's request
to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
must nevertheless pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for
this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By
this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial
filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct
the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing
fee from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the
Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated
to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding
month's income credited to plaintiff's trust account.
These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to
the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in
plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee
is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Screening of the Complaint
Legal Standards for Screening Prisoner Civil Rights
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). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks
an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “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
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
“T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). To survive dismissal for
failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. 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.” Id.
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). See also Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(e) (“Pleadings shall be so construed as to do
justice.”). Additionally, a pro se litigant is entitled
to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an
opportunity to amend, unless the complaint's deficiencies
cannot be cured by amendment. See Noll v. Carlson,
809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).
Dr. Maghaddam and Nurses Spilman, Relano, Poppachan, Cho and
Lim were medical providers at CSP-SAC at the time of the
events described in the complaint; Dr. Maghaddam was
plaintiff's primary care physician. Plaintiff broke his
hand on May 27, 2016, when he fell from his bunk. The injury
caused excruciating pain. An X-ray taken on June 2, 2016
revealed an acute and displaced fracture of the second
metacarpal. Plaintiff was referred on an “urgent”
basis to see “ortho.” He was not taken to San
Joaquin General Hospital to see “ortho” until
June 16, 2016. In the interim, Dr. Maghaddam and the nurse
defendants ignored plaintiff's many requests for adequate
pain relief and to be seen promptly by ortho. After
plaintiff's return from the hospital, Dr. Maghaddam and
the nurse defendants continued to ignore plaintiff's
written and oral requests to for adequate pain relief,
resulting in severe pain and suffering. For approximately two
months after his accident, plaintiff's hand remained
“deformed” by the displaced broken bone, and he
was unable to tie his shoes, exercise, or wash his clothes.
Following surgery on July 21, 2016, which involved the
placement of a metal plate and screws in his hand, plaintiff
experienced finger numbness and continued extreme pain.
Defendants continued to ignore his complaints.
Plaintiff's pain was inadequately treated by the
defendants until August 25, 2016, when effective pain
medication was finally prescribed by the outside hospital.
alleges that defendants Burnett, Lacy and Crum, who were
appeals coordinators, failed to respond to two emergency
grievances against Dr. Maghaddam and the nurse defendants.
Plaintiff contends that the appeals coordinators failed to
investigate his claims, and retaliated against him by
interfering with the processing of his medical grievances.
Claims for Which a Response Will Be Required
first three claims allege that the doctor and nurse
defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical need in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Claim One
lies against Dr. Maghaddam and sets forth the facts specific
to him. Claim Two lies against Nurse Spilman and sets forth
the facts specific to her. ...