United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF PARTIAL DISMISSAL AND OF SERVICE; DIRECTING
DEFENDANTS TO FILE DISPOSITIVE MOTION OR NOTICE REGARDING
SUCH MOTION; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK
LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
a California inmate, filed the instant pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
officers and medical personnel at Salinas Valley State Prison
(“SVSP”). The Court dismissed the complaint with
leave to amend to correct several deficiencies. (Docket No.
8.) Plaintiff has filed an amended complaint. (Docket No.
Standard of Review
federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the
court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any
claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from
a defendant who is immune from such relief. See Id.
§ 1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be
liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police
Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by
the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated,
and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
claims that he suffered a second degree burn on his left foot
on November 10, 2016. (Am. Compl. at 4.) Upon his return from
the hospital, Plaintiff was provided with crutches and
instructed to return to his upstairs housing assignment.
(Id. at 4-5.) Plaintiff claims that from November 11
through 14, 2016, he notified Defendants Sullivan, Fu,
Tuvera, and Uribe that he was in pain and that it was very
difficult to walk up and down the stairs in his condition and
crutches, but that defendants “purposefully and
intentionally ignored Plaintiff and acted with a culpable
state of mind to a foreseeable risk of Plaintiff's
personal safety and disregarded such risks by refusing to
take reasonable measures to abate such risk.”
(Id. at 5.) Then on November 15, 2016, Plaintiff
fell down the stairs and had to be taken to the hospital to
receive treatment for back contusions and pain; on his
return, he was issued a “lower tier lower bunk
accommodation” by medical staff. (Id. at 5-6.)
From then until November 30, 2016, Plaintiff suffered
increased pain in his back and was taken to the prison's
treatment center for extreme pain. (Id. at 6.) On
December 9, 2016, Plaintiff received a medical order for
physical therapy which did not start until April 2017.
(Id.) The physical therapist informed Plaintiff that
the injuries to his nerves and back could be life time and
requested Plaintiff be examined by a doctor due to
Plaintiff's inability to physically perform during the
physical therapy session. (Id.) Plaintiff claims
that he had been prescribed pain medications by medical care
providers, but that on May 11, 2017, Defendant Dr. Nguyen
“purposefully interfered with Plaintiff's
prescribed pain medications for his injuries and pain”
by “intentionally discontinuing” the medications,
“despite Plaintiff informing Defendant Nguyen that he
was in pain as a result of his injury to his foot and fall
down the stairs.” (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff claims
that Defendant Nguyen's decision was “medically
unreasonable considering the circumstances” and that it
was “chose[n] in conscious disregard to a excessive
risk to Plaintiff's health and personal safety.”
(Id.) Plaintiff claims he notified Defendants Kumar
and Brizendine that he was in extreme pain and had difficulty
walking up and down the stairs with crutches, but they failed
to respond. (Id. at 8.) Based on the foregoing,
Plaintiff claims deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs and deliberate indifference to personal safety.
(Id. at 8-9.) He seeks damages. (Id. at
raises two claims: (1) the claim that he was exposed to
unsafe prison conditions against Defendants Sullivan, Fu,
Tuvera, and Uribe which resulted in his fall down the stairs
on November 15, 2016; and (2) deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs against Defendants Nguyen, Kumar, and
Brizendine based on Defendant Nguyen's discontinuation of
Plaintiff's pain medication on May 11, 2017.
party asserting a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim may join, as independent or alternative
claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing
party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a). Accordingly,
“multiple claims against a single party are fine, but
Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with
unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.” George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
“Unrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits, ” not only to prevent the sort of
“morass” that a multi-claim, multi-defendant suit
can produce, “but also to ensure that prisoners pay the
required filing fees - for the Prison Litigation Reform Act
limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any
prisoner may file without prepayment of required fees.”
Id. (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)).
parties may be joined as defendants in one action only
“if any right to relief is asserted against them
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and any question of law or fact
common to all defendants will arise in the action.”
screening order, the Court advised Plaintiff that his
deliberate indifference to medical needs claim was improperly
joined to his claim for deliberate indifference to safety
needs because the claims are unrelated, and each involve
different defendants. (Docket No. 8 at 4.) The Court also
found that the alleged facts were insufficient to support
either claim. (Id. at 4-6.) Plaintiff was directed
to file an amended complaint “to state sufficient facts
to state either a deliberate
indifference to safety claim or
deliberate indifference to medical needs.”
(Id. at 7, original emphasis.) Plaintiff has clearly
failed to comply with this instruction since the amended
complaint again attempts to raise the same two unrelated
claims arising out of two separate events against two
different groups of Defendants. The Court will therefore
strike the safety claim because Plaintiff's allegations
are again insufficient to support such a claim against the
named Defendants as explained below.