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Ramirez-Garcia v. Ryan

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 4, 2013

Eduardo Ramirez-Garcia, Plaintiff,
Charles L. Ryan, et al., Defendants.



On December 17, 2012, Plaintiff Eduardo Ramirez-Garcia, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In a June 21, 2013 Order, the Court granted the Application to Proceed and dismissed the Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to state a claim. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.

On June 28, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Amended Complaint (Doc. 11). On July 22, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Status (Doc. 12). On August 6, 2013, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint (Doc. 13). Plaintiff then filed a second Motion for Status (Doc. 14) on October 15, 2013.

The Court will grant the Motion for Extension of Time and accept Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint as timely filed. The Court will also grant the Motions for Status, to the extent this Order informs Plaintiff of the status of this case, and will dismiss the First Amended Complaint with leave to amend.

I. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 681.

But as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has instructed, courts must "continue to construe pro se filings liberally." Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se prisoner] must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ( per curiam )).

If the Court determines that a pleading could be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) ( en banc ). The Court should not, however, advise the litigant how to cure the defects. This type of advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); see also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13 (declining to decide whether the court was required to inform a litigant of deficiencies). The Court will dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim, but because the First Amended Complaint may possibly be saved by amendment, will dismiss the First Amended Complaint with leave to amend.

II. First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff names Lieutenant Tucker and Nurses Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 as Defendants in the First Amended Complaint.

Plaintiff raises one claim for relief in which he alleges his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated when he was denied immediate treatment for an aneurysm. Plaintiff claims that on June 1, 2011, he began to experience severe headaches followed by repetitive vomiting. Plaintiff claims that other inmates got the attention of Correctional Officer Parrish who witnessed as Plaintiff's eyes rolled back in his head and Plaintiff became unresponsive. Officer Parrish activated an "ICS, " and 15 minutes later a medical staff person and Defendant Tucker responded with a gurney. Plaintiff was taken to the medical department where he was examined by Defendant Doe 1. Defendant Doe 1 told Defendant Tucker that Plaintiff was drunk and directed Plaintiff to be returned to his housing unit. Plaintiff claims that he explained to both Defendants Doe 1 and Tucker that he was not drunk and that he was experiencing severe pain.

Plaintiff was taken back to his housing unit in wheelchair. After 10 minutes, Plaintiff was still experiencing extreme pain and yelled for help. Officer Parrish again responded to Plaintiff, activated another "ICS, " and after 25 minutes, Defendant Tucker again responded. Plaintiff claims that by this time he was unresponsive and incoherent. Plaintiff was taken back to the medical department and, early on June 2, 2011, was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital where he received surgery for a brain aneurysm. Plaintiff remained in the hospital until June 19, 2011. ...

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