United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a California prisoner proceeding pro se with an action for
violation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On
February 1, 2019, the court screened plaintiff's amended
complaint as the court is required to do under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court found that plaintiff may proceed
on a claim arising under the Eighth Amendment for denial of
medical care against defendant Dr. K Win with respect to Dr.
Win denying plaintiff pain medication.Defendant Win has
filed a motion to dismiss.
allegations appearing in plaintiff's amended complaint
which are relevant to plaintiff's remaining claim are as
1. In June 2016, while plaintiff was a California Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) inmate at California
State Prison, Solano, plaintiff began having extreme pain in
both hands, forearms and elbows. Plaintiff was prescribed
pain medication at some point during 2016.
2. Later that year, defendant stopped all of plaintiff's
pain medication leaving plaintiff to “suffer
excruciating pain and mental anguish.” Pain medication
was not re-prescribed until after plaintiff suffered a
work-related injury on January 19, 2017.
has filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). When considering whether a complaint
states a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court
must accept the allegations as true, Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007), and construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
see Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
Review is generally limited to the complaint. Cervantes
v. City of San Diego, 5 F.3d 1273, 1274 (9th Cir. 1993).
Of course, the court “draw[s] on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
exception to the rule that review is generally limited to the
contents of the complaint is that the court can consider
judicially noticed facts pursuant to Rule 201 of the Federal
Rules of Evidence. A fact which can be judicially noticed is
a fact “not subject to reasonable dispute because it
(1) is generally known within the trial court's
jurisdiction; or (2) can be accurately and readily determined
from sources whose accuracy cannot be reasonably questioned.
Win's first argument is that plaintiff has already
litigated a claim based upon the facts identified above in
the Superior Court of Solano County and that precludes
plaintiff from proceeding on the claim which remains here.
Defendant attached to his motion a copy of a California
“Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ” filed by
plaintiff in the Superior Court of Solano County and the
court's decision as to the petition. Plaintiff does not
dispute the authenticity of either document. Because the
accuracy of neither document can be reasonably questioned,
the court judicially notices the following facts apparent
from those documents:
1. Plaintiff presented the same facts underlying the
remaining Eighth Amendment claim in this action in a
“Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus” filed in the
Superior Court of Solano County on August 14, 2017. Plaintiff
identified the “respondent” in that action as
Warden Eric Arnold.
2. On October 13, 2017, in a reasoned decision, the Superior
Court of Solano County found that the facts alleged did not
“state a prima facie case for habeas court
relief” under the Eighth Amendment. The entire petition
for writ of habeas corpus was denied.
doctrine of res judicata “bars repetitious
suits involving the same cause of action once a court of
competent jurisdiction has entered a final judgment on the
merits.” U.S. v. Tohono O'Odham Nation,
563 U.S. 307, 315 (2011) (citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1738, a U.S.
district court must give a state court judgment the same
preclusive effect as a court of that state would.
California law, the reasoned denials of California habeas
petitions can have claim preclusive effect on subsequent
civil litigation. Gonzales v. California Dep't. of
Corr., 739 F.3d 1226, 1231 (9th Cir. 2014). Claims will
be precluded if the second civil action involves: 1) the same
cause of action; 2) between the same parties or parties in
privity with them; 3) after a final judgment on the merits in
the first suit. Furnace v. Giurbino, 838 F.3d 1019,
1023 (9th Cir. 2016).
indicated above, the cause of action which remains in this
action is the same as a cause of action brought in
plaintiff's California habeas petition. The theory of
relief, under the Eighth Amendment, is the same as are the
facts asserted by plaintiff in support of his claim. While
plaintiff seeks monetary relief in this action which he could
not do in his California habeas action, this is immaterial
under California law for determining whether res
judicata applies. Brodheim v. Cry, 584 F.3d
1262, 1268 (9th Cir. 2009).
court assumes that the form of action pursued by plaintiff in
California, a petition for writ of habeas corpus, caused him
to the identify the warden at his place of incarceration as
the adverse party rather than defendant Win, whom he accused
of violating his Eighth Amendment rights just as he does
here. In any case, the Supreme Court has held “[t]here
is privity between officers of the same government so that a
judgment in a suit between a party and a representative of a
[government] is res judicata in relitigation of the same
issue between that party and another officer of the
government.” Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v.
Adkins, 310 U.S. 381, 917 (1940). More generally, the
Ninth Circuit has held that “when two parties are so
closely aligned in interest ...