Mwasi v. Corcoran State Prison, Case: 1:13-cv-00695-DAD-JLT (PC)

Decision Date20 May 2016
Docket NumberCase: 1:13-cv-00695-DAD-JLT (PC)
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of California
PartiesKING MWASI, Plaintiff, v. CORCORAN STATE PRISON, et al., Defendant.



Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint ("TAC") is before the Court for screening. (Doc. 59.) The Court granted Plaintiff leave to file the TAC for the express purpose of showing he complied with the California Tort Claims Act.1 (Doc. 49, p. 2.) Despite this, Plaintiff did not state any allegations pertaining to his efforts to comply with the CTCA in the TAC. Thus, the Court recommends that all claims under state law in the TAC be DISMISSED with prejudice.


I. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally frivolous, malicious, 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); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

II. Findings
A. Third Amended Complaint

Plaintiff's TAC is prolix, verbose, disjointed, and convoluted, though not quite as difficult to understand as his prior pleadings. Plaintiff is currently confined at the California State Prison in Corcoran, California ("CSP-Cor"), where the events occurred. Plaintiff's writing style is difficult to interpret and is peppered with words that have had lines drawn through them -- presumably as a result of Plaintiff's editing efforts.2 Plaintiff names the following 32 prison personnel as Defendants in this action: Doctors T. Blanchard, Mahoney, Teresa Macias, Conall McCabe, Nareddy, Huu Nguyen, Yu, Wayne Ulit, Asela P. Jumao-as, and Zuckerman; Licensed Clinical Social Workers ("LCSW") Urbano and D. Prince; Registered Nurses ("RN") Dava and Laura Vasquez; Licensed Vocational Nurses ("LVN") Reynoso and E. Teran; Medical Appeals Coordinator J. Tercerro; Appeals Chiefs J. Walker and Lori Zamora; "SSA"3 S. Russell and Karen Cribbs; Correctional Counselors II ("CCII")/Appeals Coordinators D. Goree and A. Pacillas; Correctional Guards ("C/O") E. Banuelos, S. Cordova, J. Gomez, Scalia, and E. Torres; Sergeants N. Holland and Espinosa; California Correctional Health Care Services; Corcoran State Prison; and Federal Receiver J. Clark Kelso as well as Does 1-20.

Generally, Plaintiff complains of events, which occurred from June of 2011 to the date that he filed the TAC, which he alleges show both that he was not provided adequate care and/or treatment formultiple medical conditions and that correctional staff subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement and excessive force.

Though a number of Plaintiff's allegations do not state cognizable claims, he has stated some cognizable claims, which are sufficiently related for Rule 18 purposes (discussed in greater detail below) since premised on his cognitive difficulties, upon which he should be allowed to proceed. However, the Court recommends that further leave to amend should not be granted, because the Court has given him the applicable legal standards three times with opportunities to amend and over three years to do so. Akhtar v. Mesa, 698 F.3d 1202, 1212-13 (9th Cir. 2012). It is time for this case to move forward.

B. Pleading Requirements
1. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)

The TAC must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations are accepted as true, but legal conclusions are not. Iqbal. at 678; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557. Courts are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences.Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" is not sufficient and "facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" fall short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S. Ct. at 1949; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

Violations of Rule 8, at both ends of the spectrum, warrant dismissal. A violation occurs when a pleading says too little -- the baseline threshold of factual and legal allegations required was the central issue in the Iqbal line of cases. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009). The Rule is also violated when a pleading says too much. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir.2011) ("[W]e have never held -- and we know of no authority supporting the proposition -- that a pleading may be of unlimited length and opacity. Our cases instruct otherwise.") (citing cases); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir.1996) (affirming a dismissal under Rule 8, and recognizing that "[p]rolix, confusing complaints such as the ones plaintiffs filed in this case impose unfair burdens on litigants and judges").

Though the TAC is long, not chronologically presented, and prolix, the Court can discern Plaintiff's allegations against a given defendant, or group of defendants by reference to specific paragraph numbers -- which is how the Court analyses Plaintiff's claims here.

2. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a)

Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a) states that "[a] party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join, either as independent or as alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has against an opposing party." "Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits, not only to prevent the sort of morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit produce[s], but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees -- for the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees." George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

As stated in the prior screening orders and the Findings and Recommendations on the SAC, therelationship between Plaintiff's allegations of his numerous medical issues is indiscernible other than that he seems to feel the care he received for all of them has been deficient. It appears that Plaintiff once again attempted to plead around Rule 18 by repeatedly alleging that he told medical defendants about his litany of medical problems. (See eg. Doc. 59, ¶¶ 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 33.) However, as stated in prior orders this is insufficient to show that claims relating to the medical care he received, or did not receive, from one medical condition to the next is related for Rule 18 purposes. The presence of multiple continuing medical conditions, does not make all allegations against every medical provider who treated Plaintiff related.

The Court warned Plaintiff that his pleadings must comply with Rule 18(a) and that all unrelated claims would be stricken. Further, the order which granted Plaintiff leave to file the TAC specifically prohibited Plaintiff from changing the nature of his claims under federal law in the SAC that were previously found cognizable, which were all based on Plaintiff's cognitive impairment that began in 2012 and involved the treatment he received from both medical and correctional staff. (See Doc. 49, p. 2; Doc. 32, pp. 6-7.) That order even provided Plaintiff with an extra copy of the SAC as well as the Findings and Recommendations which screened it and indicated that "Plaintiff would, in fact, do well to duplicate his allegations from the Second Amended Complaint upon which his federal claims were found cognizable -- i.e. under the Eighth Amendment for deliberate indifference of Plaintiff's serious medical needs against Defendants Dr. Mahoney, Dr. Blanchard, Urbano LCSW, and Doe 9; his claims under the Eighth Amendment for excessive use of force and regarding the conditions of his confinement against Defendant Guards Cordova, Torres, and J. Gomez; and his claims under the ADA against Dr. Nguyen in his official capacity." (Id.) Rather than comply with the order, Plaintiff persisted in the TAC to assert...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT