Unpublished Disposition, 883 F.2d 1025 (9th Cir. 1989)

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US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 883 F.2d 1025 (9th Cir. 1989)

Howard Lee VAUGHN, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,v.R.G. BORG; R. Grant Jordan; and B.A. Textor, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 88-1758.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Submitted May 17, 1989.* Decided Aug. 17, 1989.

Before GOODWIN, Chief Judge, and POOLE and BRUNETTI, Circuit Judges.


Howard Lee Vaughn, Jr., a California state prisoner, appeals pro se the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the warden and three doctors at Folsom Prison in his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. Vaughn contends that the defendants showed deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in denying him treatment for his hemorrhoid condition. We review de novo and affirm.

In order to prevail on his section 1983 claim and implicate the eighth amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, Vaughn must demonstrate that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1111 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1069 (1987). Mere "indifference," "negligence", or "medical malpractice" will not support a cause of action. Broughton v. Cutter Laboratories, 622 F.2d 458, 460 (9th Cir. 1980); see also Shapley v. Nevada Board of State Prison Commissioners, 766 F.2d 404, 407 (9th Cir. 1985) (mere delay of surgery without more, is insufficient to state a claim of deliberate medical indifference). A difference of opinion between a prisoner-patient and prison doctors about treatment does not give rise to a section 1983 claim. Franklin v. State of Or., State Welfare Division, 662 F.2d 1337, 1344 (9th Cir. 1981).

Vaughn has failed to contradict the defendants' factual assertions, particularly those contained in the detailed declaration of Dr. Burvant and the medical records, that Vaughn received prompt and adequate medical attention after requesting it in August, and that, at most, he experienced a minor delay in receiving medical attention in October because he failed to follow prescribed procedure for requesting it. In fact, Vaughn asserts that he was seen at least three times, a statement that is in agreement with Dr. Burvant's declaration and the medical records. Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to Vaughn, the treatment Vaughn received did not amount to a deliberate indifference to his medical needs.

Moreover, Vaughn has failed to contradict Dr. Burvant's declaration that his condition was not a serious medical problem which further supports a finding that the treatment Vaughn received did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment and summary judgment was proper.



The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(a); Circuit Rule 34-4


This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by Circuit Rule 36-3