(PC) Kunkel v. Dill et al, No. 1:2009cv00686 - Document 54 (E.D. Cal. 2010)

Court Description: ORDER Adopting Findings and Recommendations 50 , signed by District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on 9/14/2010. (Verduzco, M)
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(PC) Kunkel v. Dill et al Doc. 54 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 PATRICK KUNKEL, 10 11 CASE NO. 1:09-cv-00686-LJO-SKO PC Plaintiff, ORDER ADOPTING RECOMMENDATIONS FINDINGS AND v. (Doc. 50) 12 13 N. DILL, et al., Defendants. / 14 15 Plaintiff Patrick Kunkel (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma 16 pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter was referred to a United 17 States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. 18 On July 28, 2010, the Magistrate Judge issued a Findings and Recommendations which 19 recommended that Defendant Pfeiffer’s motion to dismiss be denied. (Doc. #50.) The Findings and 20 Recommendations were served on all parties and contained notice that any objections to the Findings 21 and Recommendations were to be filed within thirty (30) days of the date on which the Findings and 22 Recommendations were served. 23 Recommendations on August 23, 2010. (Doc. #53.) Defendant Pfeiffer filed objections to the Findings and 24 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Local Rule 305, this Court 25 has conducted a de novo review of this case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, the Court 26 finds the Findings and Recommendations to be supported by the record and by proper analysis. 27 Defendant Pfeiffer argues that Plaintiff fails to state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim 28 against Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer relies on Sevilla v. Terhune, No. 1:06-cv-00172-LJO-WMW, 2009 U.S. 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 Dist. LEXIS 41518, at *16 (E.D. Cal. May 1, 2009) in support of the proposition that a prisoner 2 cannot state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim against an appeals coordinator for denying an 3 administrative appeal concerning medical care. The language that quoted from Sevilla is dicta 4 limited in application to the facts of that case. It cannot stand for the expansive proposition that, as 5 a matter of law, a prisoner cannot state an Eighth Amendment claim against a non-medically trained 6 appeals coordinator for denying an administrative appeal requesting medical treatment. The burden 7 of establishing Section 1983 liability against an appeals coordinator with no medical expertise may 8 be more difficult because the lack of medical expertise may suggest that the appeals coordinator was 9 unaware of the risks caused by the denial of an administrative appeal. However, the Court finds that 10 Plaintiff, here, has alleged sufficient facts that plausibly support the conclusion that Defendant 11 Pfeiffer, despite having no medical training, was aware that the denial of Plaintiff’s administrative 12 appeal requesting medical treatment exposed Plaintiff to an excessive risk of harm. 13 Accordingly, the Court HEREBY ORDERS that: 14 1. The July 28, 2010 Findings and Recommendations are ADOPTED in full; and 15 2. Defendant Pfeiffer’s March 22, 2010 motion to dismiss is DENIED. 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 Dated: b9ed48 September 14, 2010 /s/ Lawrence J. O'Neill UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2