United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT RASTEGARI'S MOTION TO
DISMISS, [Doc. No. 59]
MICHAEL M. ANELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Lonnie Lee Poslof, Jr., a California prisoner proceeding
pro se, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment
rights by various medical professionals and correctional
officials. See Doc. No. 18. Defendant Dr. Rastegari
moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against him.
See Doc. No. 59. Plaintiff filed a response in
opposition to the motion. See Doc. No. 68. The Court
took the motion under submission on the briefs and without
oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1.d.1.
See Doc. No. 69. For the reasons set forth below,
the Court GRANTS Dr. Rastegari's motion
action arises out of events occurring as a result of
Plaintiff's fear of being placed on a non-designated yard
with General Population (“GP”) inmates and his
resulting suicide attempt.
January 24, 2018, Plaintiff was admitted to a Mental Health
Crisis Bed at California State Prison in Lancaster for
“psychiatric treatment of suicidal ideations and
self-harm” arising out of his fear that a housing
transfer “would potentially put his life in danger if
he were to return to RJD or any non-designated yard.”
Doc. No. 52 at 4.Plaintiff received treatment from Dr.
Rastegari, who Plaintiff claims discharged him on January 31,
2018 “without making a thorough assessment of [his]
emotional state” or an “evaluation of his suicide
risk.” Id. According to Plaintiff, Rastegari
advised him there was “nothing they would do for him
and if [he] really had enemy concerns, ” he should
“notify the R&R Sergeant at RJD, when he
returned.” Id. Plaintiff was transferred to
RJD on the same day, where he attempted to commit suicide
after his request to be housed in administrative segregation
on these allegations, Plaintiff brings Eighth Amendment
claims against Dr. Rastegari based on his failure to protect
Plaintiff from potential harm and his provision of inadequate
psychiatric care. Dr. Rastegari moves to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims against him pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint. See
Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). A
pleading 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). However, plaintiffs must
also plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6);
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). The plausibility standard thus demands more than a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, or
naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Instead, the complaint “must contain allegations of
underlying facts sufficient to give fair notice and to enable
the opposing party to defend itself effectively.”
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011).
reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), courts
must assume the truth of all factual allegations and must
construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. See Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d
336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). The court need not take legal
conclusions as true merely because they are cast in the form
of factual allegations. See Roberts v. Corrothers,
812 F.2d 1173, 1177 (9th Cir. 1987). Similarly,
“conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted
inferences are not sufficient to defeat a motion to
dismiss.” Pareto v. FDIC, 139 F.3d 696, 699
(9th Cir. 1998).
se litigants “must be ensured meaningful access to
the courts.” Rand v. Rowland, 154 F.3d 952,
957 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc). When the plaintiff is
appearing pro se, the court must construe the
pleadings liberally and afford the plaintiff any benefit of
the doubt. See Thompson v. Davis, 295 F.3d 890, 895
(9th Cir. 2001); Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police
Dept., 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988). In giving
liberal interpretation to a pro se complaint,
however, the court is not permitted to “supply
essential elements of the claim that were not initially
pled.” Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of
Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). The court
must give a pro se litigant leave to amend his
complaint “unless it determines that the pleading could
not possibly be cured by the allegation of other
facts.” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127
(9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (quotation omitted) (citing
Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1447 (9th Cir.
brings an Eighth Amendment claim against Dr. Rastegari based
on his purported failure to protect Plaintiff from potential
harm. “The treatment a prisoner receives in prison and
the conditions under which he is confined are subject to
scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment.” Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (citing Helling v.
McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993). Prison officials have
a duty “to take reasonable measures to guarantee the
safety of inmates, which has been interpreted to include a
duty to protect prisoners.” Labatad v. Corr. Corp.
of Am., 714 F.3d 1155, 1160 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 832-33; Hearns v.
Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036, 1040 (9th Cir. 2005)).
prison official violates the Eighth Amendment only when two
requirements are met: (1) the deprivation alleged is,
objectively, sufficiently serious, i.e., “the inmate
must show that he is incarcerated under conditions posing a
substantial risk of serious harm, ” and (2) the
official is, subjectively, deliberately indifferent to the
substantial risk of serious harm. Farmer, 511 U.S.
at 834. Plaintiff's allegations against Dr. Rastegari
establish neither of these requirements, and are more
properly considered under the rubric of an Eighth Amendment
inadequate medical care claim.
alleges that Dr. Rastegari failed to provide him with
adequate psychiatric care. A determination of deliberate
indifference involves a two-step analysis consisting of both
objective and subjective inquiries. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). “First, the
plaintiff must demonstrate a serious medical need such that
failure to provide treatment could result in further
significant injury or unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain. Second, the plaintiff must show that the
defendant's response to the medical need was deliberately
indifferent.” McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d
1050, 1059-60 (9th Cir. 1992) (citations and internal
quotations omitted). “In order to show deliberate
indifference, an inmate must allege sufficient facts to
indicate that prison officials acted with a culpable ...