Anonuevo v. San Mateo County Medical Staff

Filing 26

ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Motion for Appointment of Counsel 23 is DENIED. Signed by Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero on 8/24/17. (klhS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/24/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 RYAN S. ANONUEVO, Case No. 16-cv-06898-JCS (PR) Plaintiff, 8 v. ORDER OF DISMISSAL 9 10 CAL REMINGTON, et al., Defendants. Dkt. No. 23 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 INTRODUCTION 13 Plaintiff, a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed this federal civil 14 15 rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in which he raises claims against jailors and medical 16 staff at the San Mateo County Jail. The original complaint was dismissed with leave to 17 amend because plaintiff failed to state any claim for relief. The third amended complaint, 18 the subject of this order, similarly fails to state a claim for relief under federal law. 19 Accordingly, the action is DISMISSED without prejudice to plaintiff pursuing his claims 20 in state court. DISCUSSION 21 22 A. Standard of Review 23 In its initial review of this pro se complaint, this Court must dismiss any claim that 24 is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks 25 monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. 26 § 1915(e). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police 27 Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). 28 A “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to „state a 1 claim to relief that is plausible on its face.‟” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) 2 (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial 3 plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the 4 reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (quoting 5 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “A plaintiff‟s obligation to provide the „grounds of his 6 entitle[ment] to relief‟ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic 7 recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do . . . Factual allegations must be 8 enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 553- 9 56 (2007) (citations omitted). Furthermore, a court “is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754–55 12 (9th Cir. 1994). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential 13 14 elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was 15 violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the 16 color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 17 B. Legal Claims 18 1. Original Complaint 19 Plaintiff alleged in his original complaint that he was informed by a nurse that 20 unnamed medical staff at the Maple Street Correctional Center in San Mateo “mistakenly 21 overdosed” him with an unnamed medication for five days. According to plaintiff, this act 22 of “negligence” injured his kidneys such that he is now a diabetic. 23 The Court rejected these allegations as insufficient to state a claim. Plaintiff failed 24 to provide the names of the persons responsible for prescribing his medication, or the name 25 or dosage amount. 26 Plaintiff‟s allegations were rejected also because they stated at most an instance of 27 negligence or gross negligence, neither of which is sufficient to make out a violation of the 28 Eighth Amendment. 2 1 2. First and Second Amended Complaints 2 The second amended complaint arrived before the Court could review the first 3 amended complaint. The second amended complaint was dismissed with leave to amend 4 because plaintiff filed “exhibits,” which appeared to raise claims not listed in the new 5 complaint. Rather than proceeding with such piecemeal litigation, the Court dismissed the 6 second amended complaint with leave to file an amended complaint that would include all 7 claims. 8 3. Third Amended Complaint 9 The third amended complaint fails to state any claim for relief. As with the original complaint, plaintiff‟s allegations amount to, at most, a description of negligence on behalf 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 of defendants. Neither negligence nor gross negligence is sufficient to state a claim under 12 section 1983. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835-36 & n.4 (1994). 13 Plaintiff also fails to adhere to the requirements of Leer, which mandates that the 14 “inquiry into causation must be individualized and focus on the duties and responsibilities 15 of each individual defendant whose acts or omissions are alleged to have caused a 16 constitutional deprivation.” Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988). Rather, he 17 says only that unnamed “defendants knew the dosage was wrong” and “they acted 18 purposely and used deliberate indifference.” (Third. Am. Compl. at 3.) This formulaic 19 recitation of the elements of a cause of action unattached to any specific defendant do not 20 meet the pleading requirements of Iqbal. 21 Plaintiff should consider bringing his claims in state court. While allegations of 22 negligence do not state a claim under federal law, they may state a claim under state law. 23 Whether such claims will survive initial review or will ultimately be successful in state 24 court, this Court cannot say. The appropriate state court in which to file such claims is the 25 San Mateo County Superior Court. 26 27 28 CONCLUSION This federal civil rights action is DISMISSED without prejudice to plaintiff filing his claims in state court, or to moving to reopen this federal suit if plaintiff can allege facts 3 1 that plausibly establish a violation of his federal constitutional rights. 2 Plaintiff‟s motion for the appointment of counsel (Dkt. No. 23) is DENIED for the 3 reasons stated in the Court‟s prior order denying a prior request for counsel (Dkt. No. 22). 4 5 6 7 The Clerk shall terminate Dkt. No. 23, enter judgment in favor of defendants, and close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: August 24, 2017 _________________________ JOSEPH C. SPERO Chief Magistrate Judge 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 RYAN S. ANONUEVO, Case No. 16-cv-06898-JCS Plaintiff, 8 v. CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 9 10 CAL REMINGTON, et al., Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on August 24, 2017, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. 16 17 18 19 Ryan S. Anonuevo ID: #269701 Maple Street Corr. Center 1300 Maple Street Redwood City, CA 94063 20 21 Dated: August 24, 2017 22 23 Susan Y. Soong Clerk, United States District Court 24 25 26 By:________________________ Karen Hom, Deputy Clerk to the Honorable JOSEPH C. SPERO 27 28 5

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