Haley v. Ogbuehi et al

Filing 10

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. (Certificate of Service Attached) Amended Complaint due by 5/12/2016. Signed by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton on 4/11/16. (napS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/11/2016)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 DWAYNE MICHAEL HALEY, 7 Plaintiff, 8 ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. 9 IFEOMA OGBUEHI, et al., 10 Defendants. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 16-cv-00940-PJH 12 13 Plaintiff, a state prisoner, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 14 1983. Defendants removed this case from state court and paid the filing fee. Defendants 15 have also filed a motion to transfer this case to the Eastern District of California. DISCUSSION 16 17 18 I. STANDARD OF REVIEW Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners 19 seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 20 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and 21 dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief 22 may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such 23 relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1),(2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. 24 Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). 25 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement 26 of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not 27 necessary; the statement need only '"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim 28 is and the grounds upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed 2 factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds’ of his 'entitle[ment] 3 to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the 4 elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to 5 raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 6 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer "enough facts to state 7 a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. The United States Supreme 8 Court has recently explained the “plausible on its face” standard of Twombly: “While legal 9 conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual 10 allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 1 veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” 12 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). 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 deprivation was committed by a person acting under the 16 color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 17 II. LEGAL CLAIMS 18 Plaintiff alleges that he has been denied proper medical treatment for Valley 19 Fever. 20 Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs violates the Eighth Amendment's 21 proscription against cruel and unusual punishment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 22 (1976); McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 1992), overruled on other 23 grounds, WMX Technologies, Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir. 1997) (en 24 banc). A determination of "deliberate indifference" involves an examination of two 25 elements: the seriousness of the prisoner's medical need and the nature of the 26 defendant's response to that need. Id. at 1059. 27 A "serious" medical need exists if the failure to treat a prisoner's condition could 28 result in further significant injury or the "unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain." Id. 2 1 The existence of an injury that a reasonable doctor or patient would find important and 2 worthy of comment or treatment; the presence of a medical condition that significantly 3 affects an individual's daily activities; or the existence of chronic and substantial pain are 4 examples of indications that a prisoner has a "serious" need for medical treatment. Id. at 5 1059-60. A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he or she knows that a prisoner faces a 6 7 substantial risk of serious harm and disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable 8 steps to abate it. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). The prison official must 9 not only “be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists,” but he “must also draw the inference.” Id. If a prison official 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 should have been aware of the risk, but was not, then the official has not violated the 12 Eighth Amendment, no matter how severe the risk. Gibson v. County of Washoe, 290 13 F.3d 1175, 1188 (9th Cir. 2002). “A difference of opinion between a prisoner-patient and 14 prison medical authorities regarding treatment does not give rise to a § 1983 claim.” 15 Franklin v. Oregon, 662 F.2d 1337, 1344 (9th Cir. 1981). Plaintiff states that he was diagnosed with Valley Fever in 2011 while incarcerated 16 17 at Pleasant Valley State Prison (“PVSP”) in the Eastern District of California. Plaintiff 18 describes treatment he received while in PVSP, though he fails to identify any specific 19 individuals. He was transferred to Correctional Training Facility (“CTF”), which is in this 20 district, on August 28, 2015.1 Plaintiff states that an unidentified medical assistant at CTF 21 told him he did not have Valley Fever when plaintiff sought treatment. Plaintiff requested 22 to see a specialist, but the request was denied because he was told he had tested 23 negative for Valley Fever. Yet, he was prescribed Naproxen. Plaintiff later asked 24 defendant Dr. Friederichs to explain the test because prior tests indicated that he was 25 positive. Dr. Friederichs responded that the computer only goes back to 2015. Plaintiff’s 26 additional requests to see a specialist were denied and he continued to experience 27 1 28 Plaintiff was transferred to CTF from Chuckwalla Valley State Prison, which lies in the Central District. 3 1 2 migraines, tunnel vision, fatigue, joint aches, and periodic nose bleeds. Plaintiff names as defendants Dr. Ogbuehi, Dr. Brown, Dr. Bright, Dr. Ngyuyen, Dr. 3 Coleman, and Dr. Friederichs. Other than the brief discussion concerning Dr. 4 Friederichs’s actions at CTF, plaintiff has failed to identify any specific actions of the other 5 defendants and where it occurred. It is not clear if the other defendants are employed at 6 CTF or a prison in another district. 7 Defendants Ogbuehi, Bright and Friederichs have already been served and are 8 represented by the Office of the Attorney General. Defendants note that Bright and 9 Friederichs work at CTF and Ogbuehi works at PVSP. Defendants Brown, Ngyuyen and Coleman have not been served and it is not known where they treated plaintiff. The 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 served defendants have also filed a motion to transfer this case to the Eastern District of 12 California because there are currently 24 cases pending in that district regarding inmates 13 bringing suit against prison staff with respect to allegations that they contracted valley 14 fever while incarcerated at PVSP. Plaintiff has not responded to the motion to transfer 15 the case. 16 As currently pled, the complaint fails to state a claim against any named 17 defendant. Plaintiff’s allegation that Friederichs told him he was negative for Valley Fever 18 and could not access older records does not present an Eighth Amendment violation. 19 The complaint will be dismissed with leave to amend. Plaintiff should provide more 20 details regarding his symptoms, the treatment he received, and how the treatment or lack 21 thereof violated the constitution. Plaintiff should also describe the actions of each named 22 defendant and provide details of their involvement in this case. He should also more 23 clearly identify at what prisons the incidents occurred and where the defendants treated 24 him. The court will not rule on the motion to transfer until plaintiff files an amended 25 complaint with more information. Plaintiff may also address the motion to transfer in an 26 amended complaint. 27 28 4 1 USION CONCLU 2 1. The complaint is DISMISS e SED with le eave to amend in acco ordance wit the th 3 sta andards set forth abov The am t ve. mended com mplaint mus be filed no later than May 12, st o n 4 2016, and mu include the caption and civil case numbe used in th order an the ust t er his nd 5 wo ords AMENDED COMP PLAINT on the first pa age. Becau an ame use ended comp plaint 6 completely replaces the original com mplaint, pla aintiff must include in it all the cla aims he 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 wis shes to present. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 96 F.2d 125 1262 (9t Cir. 1992 He may 63 58, th 2). y not incorporat material from the or te riginal comp plaint by re eference. 2. It is the plaintif respons s ff's sibility to pro osecute this case. Pla aintiff must keep the cou informed of any change of address by filing a separ urt d rate paper w the cle headed with erk “No otice of Cha ange of Address,” and must com d mply with the court's ord e ders in a tim mely fas shion. Failu to do so may resul in the dism ure o lt missal of th action fo failure to prosecute his or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Pr e rocedure 41 1(b). IT IS SO ORDER S RED. Da ated: April 11, 2016 16 17 PH HYLLIS J. H HAMILTON N Un nited States District Ju s udge 18 19 \\CA ANDOAK\Data\Users\PJHALL\_p psp\2016\2016_0 00940_Haley_v_O Ogbuehi_(PSP)\ \16-cv-00940-PJH-dwlta.docx 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 1 2 UNITED STATES D DISTRICT C COURT 3 NORTHER DISTRIC OF CAL N RN CT LIFORNIA 4 5 DWAYNE MICHAEL HA ALEY, Case No. 16-cv-009 940-PJH Plaintiff, 6 v. CERTIFIC CATE OF S SERVICE 7 8 IF FEOMA OG GBUEHI, et al., Defendants. 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 I, the undersigned hereby ce u d, ertify that I am an emp ployee in th Office of the Clerk, he f U.S District Court, North S. C hern Distric of Californ ct nia. That on April 11, 2016, I SER 2 RVED a tru and corre copy(ies) of the att ue ect tached, by pla acing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelo addres c ope ssed to the person(s) h hereinafter list ted, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing sa copy(ies into an d y aid s) inte er-office de elivery receptacle locat in the C ted Clerk's office. 16 17 18 Dw wayne Mich hael Haley ID: T08975 Ca alifornia Tra aining Facility P.O Box 689 O. So oledad, CA 93960 19 20 ated: April 11, 2016 Da 21 22 23 Susan Y. So oong Clerk, United States Dis d strict Court C 24 25 26 y:________ _________ _________ By Nichole Peric Deputy C c, Clerk to the e Honorable P PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON N 27 28 6

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