Unpublished Disposition, 927 F.2d 608 (9th Cir. 1989)

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US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 927 F.2d 608 (9th Cir. 1989)

Donald Earl CHILDERS, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Samuel LEWIS, Director of Corrections for the State ofArizona, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 89-16749.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Submitted Nov. 27, 1990.* Decided Feb. 28, 1991.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona; No. CV-89-0017-RMB, Richard M. Bilby, District Judge, Presiding.

D. Ariz.


Before PREGERSON, FERGUSON and TROTT, Circuit Judges.


Plaintiff-Appellant Donald Childers is an inmate in the Arizona Department of Corrections. On January 27, 1989, Childers filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 contending that his constitutional rights were violated when he was compelled to shave despite the fact that he was suffering from an alleged skin condition known as "pseudofolliculitus barbae" ("PFB").1  The district court granted Appellee's motion for a "Court-Ordered Report and Motion to Dismiss." Childers' Motion to Reconsider was denied and this appeal followed. We affirm.

A dismissal for failure to state a claim is reviewed de novo. Kruso v. International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., 872 F.2d 1416, 1421 (9th Cir. 1989); Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. v. Continental National American Insurance Companies, 861 F.2d 1184, 1185 (9th Cir. 1988).

To state a cause of action under Sec. 1983, Childers "must allege acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Allegations of negligence or medical malpractice do not state a valid claim of medical mistreatment under the Eighth Amendment. Id. "It is only such indifference that can offend 'evolving standards of decency' ..." which rises to the level necessary to sustain an allegation of deliberate indifference. Id.

We note that the Eleventh Circuit, when faced with a similar claim, concluded that PFB was not a "serious medical need" under Estelle. See Shabazz v. Barnauskas, 790 F.2d 1536, 1538 (11th Cir. 1986). We need not, however, reach the question whether PFB is a serious medical need. We conclude that, even if PFB were the sort of serious medical need mandated by Estelle, Childers has not shown that prison medical authorities were deliberately indifferent to his needs.

The record indicates that he was examined on several occasions by medical personnel. He was given medication to treat the condition and instruction on how to shave properly. Finally, Childers was issued temporary shaving waivers on at least two occasions. This treatment of Childers' medical needs does not evidence deliberate indifference on the part of prison medical authorities.



The panel unanimously found this case suitable for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(a) and Ninth 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 9th Cir.R. 36-3


PFB is defined as "follicular papules or pastules resulting from close shaving ... of very curley hair." Steadman's Medical Dictionary at 1279 (25th edition 1990)