United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
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 defendants' motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 13).
Aron Miron is a prisoner at California Health Care Facility
in Stockton, CA and names the following as defendants: (1) J.
Krpan; (2) K. Kaur; (3) N. Malakkla; and (4) A. Adams.
See ECF No.1, pgs. 1-2. Plaintiff alleges two claims
for relief under the 8th Amendment, as outlined below.
I - Request for Mattress
Plaintiff suffers from constant pain due to a spinal injury.
See ECF No. 1, pg. 3. Plaintiff alleges that a prior
physician, not named in the complaint, authorized the use of
a “pain-reducing mattress, ” but that defendant
Dr. Kaur later revoked that authorization on April 10, 2018.
Id. At the Institutional Level Response, Kaur denied
plaintiff's request, stating that “…certain
miscellaneous supplies or property, such as
bedding…shall not be considered medical supplies, DME,
or medically necessary accommodations and are not prescribed
or ordered by health care staff.” See ECF No.
1, pg. 22. Also, Kaur stated that “[m]edical needs can
and do change over time . . . . The fact that you may have
been allowed certain medical appliances or chronos at one
prison and later denied one or more of the same chronos at a
different prison . . . is not evidence of inadequate medical
care . . . .” Id.
appealed the denial of the mattress to the highest level of
the administrative process, Headquarters' Level Response,
but was ultimately denied on July 25, 2018. See ECF
No. 1, pg. 19. The denial stated in part, “[o]n April
3, 2018, you were seen and evaluated in the Physical Medicine
and Rehabilitation clinic regarding your specialty mattress,
where it was noted you had no skin breakdown or pressure
ulcer history and you did not meet the criteria for a
pressure reducing support surface….”
claims that these denials amount to a violation of his 8th
Amendment rights and that all named defendants
“…bear some responsibility.” See
ECF No. 1, pg. 3.
II - Request for Knee Surgery
also claims to suffer from “increasingly unbearable
pain” in his left knee. See ECF No. 1, pg. 4.
On April 18, 2017, an MRI exam was conducted on
plaintiff's knee on the orders of defendant Dr. Krpan,
after which, plaintiff requested medical treatment to help
deal with the pain. Id. Krpan allegedly delayed
providing plaintiff with medical treatment and lagged in
ordering corrective surgery despite repeated requests by
plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff filed a medical grievance
but was denied by defendant Malakkla on October 18, 2017.
November 1, 2017, plaintiff had an orthopedic consultation,
and the health care provider recommended left total knee
replacement. See ECF No. 1, pg. 35. On December 2,
2017, plaintiff had a follow-up primary care provider
encounter with Krpan regarding the consultation. Id.
Krpan “noted” the orthopedic consultation's
recommendation, but plaintiff allegedly refused surgery and
instead requested a knee brace. Id. However,
plaintiff denies making such a refusal and claims to have
never been offered surgery. See ECF No. 1, pg. 4.
After further requests for medical assistance, his grievance
was once again denied on March 2, 2018. Id. Also, on
May 7, 2018, plaintiff was noted as being able to ambulate
with a walker, was in “no acute distress, ” and
his “activities of daily living were not
limited.” See ECF No. 1, pg. 35. Since then,
plaintiff has had to endure “…extreme pain and
suffering….” See ECF No. 1, pg. 4.
Plaintiff alleges this conduct constitutes a violation of his
8th Amendment rights.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all
allegations of material fact in the complaint as true.
See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007).
The court must also construe the alleged facts in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. See Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); see also Hosp.
Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740
(1976); Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813, 816 (9th
Cir. 1994) (per curiam). All ambiguities or doubts must also
be resolved in the plaintiff's favor. See Jenkins v.
McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). However, legally
conclusory statements, not supported by actual factual
allegations, need not be accepted. See Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009). In addition, pro
se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those
drafted by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520 (1972).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) 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 Atl. Corp v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). However, in order to
survive dismissal for failure to state a claim under Rule
12(b)(6), a complaint must contain more than “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. at 555-56. The complaint must
contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Id. 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.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
“The plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556). “Where a complaint pleads facts that
are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability, it ‘stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility for entitlement to
relief.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 557).
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court generally may not
consider materials outside the complaint and pleadings.
See Cooper v. Pickett, 137 F.3d 616, 622 (9th Cir.
1998); Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 453 (9th Cir.
1994). The court may, however, consider: (1) documents whose
contents are alleged in or attached to the complaint and
whose authenticity no party questions, see Branch,
14 F.3d at 454; (2) documents whose authenticity is not in
question, and upon which the complaint necessarily relies,
but which are not attached to the complaint, see Lee v.
City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001);
and (3) documents and materials of which the court may take
judicial notice, see Barron v. Reich, 13 F.3d 1370,
1377 (9th Cir. 1994).
leave to amend must be granted “[u]nless it is
absolutely clear that no amendment can cure the
defects.” Lucas v. Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d
245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam); see also Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).