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Turner v. Daniels

United States District Court, D. Arizona

January 12, 2015

Nathaniel Turner, Jr., Plaintiff,
v.
Jacob Daniels, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, Senior District Judge.

On May 30, 2014, Plaintiff Nathaniel Turner, Jr., who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis, 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 4, 2014 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 July 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Documents (Doc. 7). On July 15, 2014, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (Doc. 8). The Court will dismiss the First Amended Complaint and this action.

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 )).

II. First Amended Complaint

In his three-count First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff names Fourth Avenue Jail Doctors Johnson, Freedman, and Balaji as Defendants.

In Count One, Plaintiff claims he has "been trying to get medical help for the excruciating pain that [he] suffers from for [his] spinal st[e]nosis from Dr. B. Jo[h]nson since 1-18-14." Plaintiff claims he has been refused any medical help at all, that he talked to Defendant Johnson about his spinal stenosis pain, and that he has filed ten grievances regarding his spinal stenosis pain. Plaintiff claims that he has been forced to suffer excruciating pain for six months and that all three doctors he has talked to told him that he is scheduled to see a "back doctor" and have an MRI performed. Plaintiff claims that doctors have his 2010 MRI results and that he is being denied pain medication.

The entirety of Plaintiff's claims in Count Two are as follows: "Dr. A. Balaji refused to issue this plaintiff any medical care after several request[s] by Plaintiff."

Similarly, Plaintiff claims in Count Three that "Dr. Freedman refused to order an[y] kind of medical care for ...


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