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Dion'e Kaeo-Tomaselli, #A5004463 v. Womens Community Correctional Center Medical Unit

November 7, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Oki Mollway Chief United States District Judge


Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Dion'e KaeoTomaselli's ("Plaintiff") prisoner civil rights complaint.*fn1

Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Women's Community Correctional Center ("WCCC"). Plaintiff names the WCCC Medical Unit, and alleges that various nurses employed by WCCC denied or delayed medical care to her in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff also alleges that her right to privacy was violated by prison officials' inappropriate disclosure of her medical information.

The Complaint is DISMISSED for failure to name proper defendants, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1). Plaintiff is granted leave to amend the Complaint, if possible, to cure the deficiencies detailed below.


Plaintiff asserts four claims. In Count I, Plaintiff claims that WCCC nurses Abby Medrano and Tina refused to refer her to a doctor for treatment on October 30, and November 3, 2009, although she told them she "felt like [she] was dying." Plaintiff claims that their denial resulted in her going into a coma and being placed "on the life support machine . . . [requiring her to relearn] to walk, talk, write, sing and dance the hula." Compl. ECF #1 at 5.

In Count II, Plaintiff claims that, on May 6, 2009, April 22, 2010, September 27, 2011, and "other dates," unidentified WCCC nurses gave her the incorrect medicine. Plaintiff also claims that WCCC Nurse Abby Medrano rescinded her "no shackle" and "bottom bunk" memos, contravening Plaintiff's physicians' orders, and violating the Eighth Amendment.

In Count III, Plaintiff claims that her right to privacy was violated when: (1) the WCCC Medical Unit informed the WCCC Warden that she was dying of AIDS, (2) the Warden told a WCCC volunteer hula teacher, (3) the hula teacher told the inmates attending her class, and (4) WCCC Nurse Eric loudly informed Plaintiff that she was scheduled for throat surgery in front of other inmates.

Finally, in Count IV, Plaintiff alleges that Drs. Joyner, Peroff, and Dewitt referred her to outside specialists for rehabilitative care for her throat and foot, but WCCC medical staff countermanded these referrals.


The court must screen all civil actions brought by prisoners that relate to prison conditions and/or seek redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if its claims are legally frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (c)(1).

A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for failure to state a claim for (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim, 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). 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, ----, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (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 1950. 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 1951.

The court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, accept all allegations of material fact as true, and construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). Leave to amend should be granted if it appears at all possible that the plaintiff can correct the ...

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