Hall v. Guila et al

Filing 35

ORDER Dismissing Fourth Amended Complaint for Failing to State a Claim Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Plaintiffs Fourth Amended Complaint 30 is Dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which § 1983 relief can granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Further leave to amend is Denied. The Court certifies that an IFP appeal from this Order of dismissal would not be taken 'in good faith' pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). The Clerk shall close the file. Signed by Judge Michael M. Anello on 8/20/2014.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(vam)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 LAVELL HALL, CDCR #H-05584, Civil No. 13 Plaintiff, ORDER DISMISSING FOURTH AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A 14 15 16 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) vs. Y.A. GUILA, et al. 17 Defendants. 18 19 20 I. 21 PROCEDURAL HISTORY 22 On November 14, 2011, Lavell Hall, a state inmate currently incarcerated at 23 California State Prison, Los Angeles County located in Lancaster, California, 24 submitted a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff did not seek leave to 25 proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) in this matter but rather Plaintiff has paid the entire 26 $350 civil filing fee. 27 28 On March 9, 2012, this Court sua sponte dismissed Plaintiff’s Complaint for failing to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). [Doc. No. 5.] Plaintiff was 1 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) 1 granted leave to file an Amended Complaint in order to correct the deficiencies of 2 pleading identified by the Court. [Doc. No. 5 at 5-6.] On April 12, 2012, Plaintiff 3 filed a “Motion for Extension of Time to Amend Complaint.” [Doc. No. 6.] 4 However, before the Court could issue a ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion, Plaintiff filed 5 his First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). [Doc. No. 7.] 6 On May 24, 2012, the Court, once again, dismissed Plaintiff’s First Amended 7 Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). [Doc. No. 9.] 8 Plaintiff was again granted leave to file an Amended Complaint in order to correct the 9 deficiencies of pleading identified by the Court. [Id. at 5.] After receiving extensions 10 of time, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”). [Doc. No. 15.] This 11 Court dismissed all claims against Defendant Guila and transferred the matter to the 12 Eastern District of California in light of the fact all remaining claims were unrelated to 13 the claims that arose in this District. [Doc. No. 19]. 14 After the matter was transferred to the Eastern District of California, Plaintiff 15 was permitted to file a Third and Fourth Amended Complaint. [Doc. Nos. 26, 30.] 16 On August 5, 2014, United States Magistrate Judge Barbara McAuliffe entered an 17 “Order Dismissing Action without Prejudice” and transferred the matter back to this 18 District. [Doc. No. 32.] 19 II. 20 SUA SPONTE SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) 21 As the Court informed Plaintiff in its previous Orders, the Prison Litigation 22 Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, obligates the Court to review complaints 23 filed by anyone “incarcerated or detained in any facility who is accused of, sentenced 24 for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions 25 of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program,” “as soon as practicable 26 after docketing” and regardless of whether the prisoner prepays filing fees or moves to 27 proceed IFP. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), (c). The Court must sua sponte dismiss 28 prisoner complaints, or any portions thereof, which are frivolous, malicious, or fail to 2 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) 1 state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); Resnick v. 2 Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 446-47 (9th Cir. 2000). 3 A. 4 Section 1983 imposes two essential proof requirements upon a claimant: (1) 5 that a person acting under color of state law committed the conduct at issue, and (2) 6 that the conduct deprived the claimant of some right, privilege, or immunity protected 7 by the Constitution or laws of the United States. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Parratt v. 8 Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981), overruled on other grounds by Daniels v. Williams, 9 474 U.S. 327, 328 (1986); Haygood v. Younger, 769 F.2d 1350, 1354 (9th Cir. 1985) 10 Constitutional Claims (en banc). 11 B. Waiver of Claims against Defendants 12 As an initial matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff no longer names Defendants 13 Clark, Mecias, Kirby, Tkieby, Walker, Rouch, McCabe, Wauem, Wager Vo, Quang, 14 Thornhill, Ko or Fraze in his Fourth Amended Complaint (“FAC”). As this Court 15 informed Plaintiff in its previous Orders, “[d]efendants not named and all claims not 16 re-alleged in [amended pleadings] will be deemed to have been waived.” See May 24, 17 2012 Order at 5, Doc. No. 9, citing King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). 18 Accordingly, because Plaintiff no longer names these individuals as Defendants, all 19 claims against them are waived. 20 B. Claims against Defendants Peterson and Chamberlain 21 Where an inmate’s claim is one of inadequate medical care, the inmate must 22 allege “acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to 23 serious medical needs.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Such a claim 24 has two elements: “the seriousness of the prisoner’s medical need and the nature of the 25 defendant’s response to that need.” McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 26 1991), overruled on other grounds by WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 27 1136 (9th Cir. 1997). A medical need is serious “if the failure to treat the prisoner’s 28 condition could result in further significant injury or the ‘unnecessary and wanton 3 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) 1 infliction of pain.’” McGuckin, 974 F.2d at 1059 (quoting Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104). 2 Indications of a serious medical need include “the presence of a medical condition that 3 significantly affects an individual’s daily activities.” Id. at 1059-60. By establishing 4 the existence of a serious medical need, an inmate satisfies the objective requirement 5 for proving an Eighth Amendment violation. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 6 (1994). 7 In general, deliberate indifference may be shown when prison officials deny, 8 delay, or intentionally interfere with a prescribed course of medical treatment, or it 9 may be shown by the way in which prison medical officials provide necessary care. 10 Hutchinson v. United States, 838 F.2d 390, 393-94 (9th Cir. 1988). While Plaintiff’s 11 Fourth Amended Complaint is nearly devoid of specific factual allegations, Plaintiff 12 attaches several documents to his Fourth Amended Complaint that demonstrate he 13 was examined and treated by Dr. Peterson on a number of occasions. It further 14 demonstrates that Dr. Peterson prescribed Plaintiff medication for his condition that 15 Plaintiff received. In his a Fourth Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Dr. 16 Peterson’s “treatments failed to rectify the problem.” (FAC at 6.) Before it can be 17 said that an inmate’s civil rights have been abridged with regard to medical care, 18 however, “the indifference to his medical needs must be substantial. Mere 19 ‘indifference,’ ‘negligence,’ or ‘medical malpractice’ will not support this cause of 20 action.” Broughton v. Cutter Laboratories, 622 F.2d 458, 460 (9th Cir. 1980) (citing 21 Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105-06). See also Toguchi v. Chung, 391 F.3d 1051, 1060 (9th 22 Cir. 2004). 23 The Court previously found that these identical allegations failed to state a 24 claim against Defendant Peterson and Plaintiff failed to correct the deficiencies of 25 pleading previously identified by this Court. Moreover, the Fourth Amended 26 Complaint, while referencing Defendant Chamberlain, fails to identify any specific 27 factual allegations pertaining to this Defendant and there are no documents attached to 28 the Fourth Amended Complaint that identify Defendant Chamberlain’s role in the 4 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) 1 alleged deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Accordingly, for all the reasons 2 previously stated by the Court in its prior Orders, the Court finds that Plaintiff has 3 failed to state a claim against either of these defendants. 4 B. Claims against Defendant Guila 5 Plaintiff also fails to identify with any specificity the factual allegations giving 6 rise to his claims against Defendant Guila. Moreover, this Court previously found the 7 allegations against Defendant Guila deficient and did not permit Plaintiff leave to 8 amend his pleading as to this Defendant. (See March 13, 2013 Order, Doc. No. 19, at 9 4.) Regardless, it is clear that Plaintiff continues to fail to state a claim against this 10 11 Defendant. While not entirely clear, it appears that Plaintiff seeks to hold Defendant Guila 12 liable for the alleged responses to Plaintiff’s administrative grievances. The 13 Fourteenth Amendment provides that: “[n]o state shall ... deprive any person of life, 14 liberty, or property, without due process of law.” U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, § 1. “The 15 requirements of procedural due process apply only to the deprivation of interests 16 encompassed by the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of liberty and property.” 17 Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 569 (1972). State statutes and prison 18 regulations may grant prisoners liberty or property interests sufficient to invoke due 19 process protection. Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 223-27 (1976). To state a 20 procedural due process claim, Plaintiff must allege: “(1) a liberty or property interest 21 protected by the Constitution; (2) a deprivation of the interest by the government; 22 [and] (3) lack of process.” Wright v. Riveland, 219 F.3d 905, 913 (9th Cir. 2000). 23 24 However, the Ninth Circuit has held that prisoners have no protected property 25 interest in an inmate grievance procedure arising directly from the Due Process 26 Clause. See Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 869 (9th Cir. 2003) (“[I]nmates lack a 27 separate constitutional entitlement to a specific prison grievance procedure”) (citing 28 Mann v. Adams, 855 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1988) (finding that the due process clause 5 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment creates “no legitimate claim of entitlement to a [prison] 2 grievance procedure”)); accord Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 75 (4th Cir. 1994) (1995); 3 Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993). 4 In addition, Plaintiff has failed to plead facts sufficient to show that prison 5 official deprived him of a protected liberty interest by allegedly failing to respond to 6 his prison grievances in a satisfactory manner. While a liberty interest can arise from 7 state law or prison regulations, Meachum, 427 U.S. at 223-27, due process protections 8 are implicated only if Plaintiff alleges facts to show that Defendants: (1) restrained 9 his freedom in a manner not expected from his sentence, and (2) “impose[d] atypical 10 and significant hardship on [him] in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.” 11 Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995); Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818, 827-28 12 (9th Cir. 1997). Plaintiff pleads nothing to suggest how the allegedly inadequate 13 review and consideration of his inmate grievances resulted in an “atypical” and 14 “significant hardship.” Sandin, 515 U.S. at 483-84. Thus, to the extent Plaintiff 15 challenges the procedural adequacy of inmate grievance procedures, his Fourth 16 Amended Complaint fails to state a claim as to Defendant Guila. 17 III. 18 CONCLUSION AND ORDER 19 Good cause appearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 20 1. Plaintiff’s Fourth Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 30] is DISMISSED for 21 failing to state a claim upon which § 1983 relief can granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 22 § 1915A(b)(1). 23 2. Further leave to amend is DENIED. See Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 24 80 F.3d 336, 339 (9th Cir. 1996) (denial of a leave to amend is not an abuse of 25 discretion where further amendment would be futile); and 26 3. The Court CERTIFIES that an IFP appeal from this Order of dismissal 27 would not be taken “in good faith” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). See Coppedge 28 v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962); Gardner v. Pogue, 558 F.2d 548, 550 (9th 6 14cv1846 MMA (JLB) 1 Cir. 1977) (indigent appellant is permitted to proceed IFP on appeal only if appeal 2 would not be frivolous). 3 The Clerk shall close the file. 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 6 7 DATED: August 20, 2014 Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7 14cv1846 MMA (JLB)

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