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Hans v. Baniga

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 31, 2019

RICHARD R. HANS, Plaintiff,
v.
U. BANIGA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO FILE A RESPONSE (DOC. 1.)

          JENNIFER L. THURSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff has filed a complaint asserting constitutional claims against governmental employees and/or entities. (Doc. 1.) 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. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         I. Pleading Standard

         A 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. at 678.

         Prisoners 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.

         II. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff's claims arose while he was incarcerated at California Correctional Institution (“CCI”) in Tehachapi, California. He names as Defendants Dr. U. Baniga, the CCI Chief Physician and Surgeon; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”); and Does 1-5. Plaintiff brings this action for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, for which he seeks damages, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief. The parties are named in their individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff's allegations may be fairly summarized as follows:

Plaintiff has suffered from chronic hepatitis C for over 20 years. The failure to treat the condition and/or a delay in treating it can cause his condition to worsen.

         Plaintiff began his period of incarceration in September 2017, presumably at CCI. Since that time, Plaintiff has repeatedly sought treatment for his hepatitis C. However, each time that he submitted a healthcare request form or asked for treatment when speaking to a medical provider directly, he has either been denied care or promised care that he never received.

         On September 18, 2018, Plaintiff submitted a health care grievance asking for treatment for his condition. On September 24, 2018, Dr. Baniga “facilitated a denial” of the grievance even though Dr. Baniga was aware of Plaintiff's chronic condition and repeated requests for treatment. Dr. Baniga, who is responsible for approving or denying medical care recommendations by subordinate medical providers, “relies upon unreasonable policies” in making these decisions.

         The CDCR, which retains custody of Plaintiff, has failed to provide him with adequate medical care, in violation of Plata v. Schwarzenegger, N.D. Cal. C-01-1351.

         III. ...


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