United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO FILE A RESPONSE (DOC.
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
has filed a first amended complaint asserting constitutional
claims against governmental employees. (Doc. 13.) Generally,
the Court is required to screen complaints brought by inmates
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an 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). “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or
any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
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)),
and 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). While factual allegations are accepted
as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
may bring § 1983 claims against individuals acting
“under color of state law.” See 42
U.S.C. § 1983, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2)(B)(ii).
Under § 1983, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each
defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his
rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th
Cir. 2002). This requires the presentation of factual
allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). 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, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627
F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), but
nevertheless, the mere possibility of misconduct falls short
of meeting the plausibility standard, Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
times relevant to this action, Plaintiff was a state inmate
housed at North Kern State Prison (“NKSP”) in
Delano, California. Plaintiff brings this action against Dr.
N. Odeluga, the NKSP Chief Medical Executive; Dr. A. Shittu,
the NKSP Chief Physician and Surgeon; and Dr. Steven M.
Yaplee, an ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist in private
practice. Plaintiff seeks several million dollars in damages
and injunctive relief in the form of a transfer to California
Correctional Medical Facility in Vacaville, California.
allegations may be fairly summarized as follows:
Allegations Against Dr. Yaplee
February 8, 2016, Dr. Yaplee, a NKSP-contracted medical
provider, performed a cataract surgery on Plaintiff's
left eye even though Plaintiff had only agreed to have a
procedure to reduce the pressure in that eye. Between June
2016 and October 2016, Plaintiff continually told Dr. Yaplee
that his vision was worse. In November 2016, Dr. Yaplee
referred Plaintiff to Dr. Tawansy, another NKSP-contracted
Allegations Against Dr. Odeluga
to February 2016, Dr. Odeluga was aware that Dr. Yaplee
seriously injured inmates through surgery. Dr. Odeluga,
however, did not share this information with Plaintiff and
instead permitted Dr. Yaplee to perform the February 2016
surgery on Plaintiff's left eye.
Odeluga referred Plaintiff to a Dr. Tawansy who performed two
eye surgeries on Plaintiff between January 2017 and June
2018, one to correct the surgery performed by Dr. Yaplee and
one to correct a eye surgery performed by a Dr. Lauritzen
from June 2012.
Dr. Odeluga canceled NKSP's contract with Dr. Tawansy
without informing Plaintiff and thereby excluding him from
being involved in decisions regarding his own medical
treatment. After canceling Dr. Tawansy's contract, Dr.
Odeluga scheduled Plaintiff with Dr. Lauritzen, even after