United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Albany Division
W. LOUIS SANDS, District Judge.
Plaintiff Rolandas Milinavicius, who is currently confined at Autry State Prison in Pelham, Georgia, filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff's motions to proceed in forma pauperis were previously granted, and Plaintiff paid the assessed initial partial filing fee on March 20, 2014. As explained below, the claims in Plaintiff's Complaint are subject to preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), a federal court is required to conduct an initial screening of a prisoner complaint "which seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity." Section 1915A(b) requires a federal court to dismiss a prisoner complaint that is: (1) "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted" or (2) "seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief."
A claim is frivolous when it appears from the face of the complaint that the factual allegations are "clearly baseless" or that the legal theories are "indisputably meritless." Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993). A complaint fails to state a claim when it does not include "enough factual matter (taken as true)" to "give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests[.]" Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007) (noting that "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level" and that the complaint "must contain something more... than... a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action") (internal quotations and citations omitted); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining that "threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice"). In making the above determinations, all factual allegations in the complaint must be viewed as true. Brown v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1347 (11th Cir. 2004). Moreover, "[p]ro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys and will, therefore, be liberally construed." Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998).
In order to state a claim for relief under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) an act or omission deprived him of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution or a statute of the United States and (2) the act or omission was committed by a person acting under color of state law. Hale v. Tallapoosa Cnty., 50 F.3d 1579, 1581 (11th Cir. 1995). If a litigant cannot satisfy these requirements, or fails to provide factual allegations in support of his claim or claims, then the complaint is subject to dismissal. See Chappell v. Rich, 340 F.3d 1279, 1282-84 (11th Cir. 2003) (affirming the district court's dismissal of a Section 1983 complaint because the plaintiff's factual allegations were insufficient to support the alleged constitutional violation); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (dictating that a complaint, or any portion thereof, that does not pass the standard in Section 1915A "shall" be dismissed on preliminary review).
In this case, Plaintiff sues Autry State Prison ("Autry"), Autry Physician's Assistant (P.A.) Ms. Brown, Autry Physician Dr. McGhee, two Autry Nurses named as Jane Does, Autry Warden Alan Carter, Autry Medical Director Jane Doe, Autry Chief Counselor Ms. Bell, and Autry Counselors Osborn, Ross, Spencer, and Williams. (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff also sues Augusta State Medical Prison Cardiologist John Doe, the Georgia Department of Corrections ("GDOC"), GDOC Director of Inmate Affairs Ricky Myrick, GDOC Commissioner Brian Owens, and GDOC Director of Utilization Management John Doe. ( Id. )
Plaintiff alleges that Autry State Prison officials were indifferent to his medical needs. On January 12, 2013, while incarcerated at Autry, he began having severe chest pains, became dizzy, and passed out. While other inmates observed Plaintiff and sought medical attention for him, Plaintiff regained consciousness and was told that "medical personnel had advised that they were not going to respond because Plaintiff had the capability of walking." Plaintiff alleges he had chest pains and a rapid heartbeat on February 12, 2013. Plaintiff again had chest pains and a rapid heartbeat on February 15, 2013, wherein he was taken to Albany Memorial Hospital, administered tests, and observed. Plaintiff was then returned to Autry State Prison. Plaintiff contends hospital personnel "recommend[ed] and schedule[d] [him] to return" to the hospital for additional tests, treatment, and a heart stress test, but that Autry medical personnel and prison officials refused to allow him to return to the hospital for his scheduled appointment.
On February 19, 2013, Plaintiff called his wife, who then called Defendant Counselor Osborn. Plaintiff was thereafter seen by the medical department at Autry where he was given an "unknown medication" and a "perfunctory test" but not given any other information. Plaintiff contends he submitted numerous medical requests to be seen and was summoned to the medical department on March 6, 2013, and March 13, 2013, only to be told that neither his tests results nor his medical file could be found. On April 13, 2013, Plaintiff wrote a letter to GDOC Director of Inmate Affairs Ricky Myrick asking that he assist Plaintiff in obtaining a resolution to a grievance he filed on February 19, 2013, pertaining to the insufficient medical care he received. Plaintiff contends Defendant Myrick failed to respond.
On April 12, 2013, Defendant Counselor Osborn tried to make Plaintiff "sign off" on, or withdraw, the out-of-time response by prison officials to his medical issue, but Plaintiff refused. Then, on April 16, 2013 and April 19, 2013, Plaintiff was summoned to Defendant Counselor Ross's office wherein Defendant Ross attempted to force him to sign off on his February 19, 2013 grievance, but Plaintiff again refused.
On May 1, 2013, while Plaintiff was being seen by Defendant P.A. Brown, he inquired about why he was not being given a stress test, wherein Defendant Brown told him he had no right to medical treatment. Then, on May 13, 2013, Plaintiff was summoned to the medical department and after waiting for five hours for his stress test, Plaintiff was told his files could not be located. On May 14, 2013, Plaintiff again saw Defendant Brown and told her he was still having chest pains and left arm pain.
Plaintiff addressed a letter to Defendant Director of Utilization Management John Doe on May 21, 2013, regarding his complaints. Defendant Doe failed to respond. On May 30, 2013, Plaintiff was transferred to Augusta State Medical Prison ("Augusta") to be seen by a cardiologist. Plaintiff was seen by Cardiologist John Doe on June 5, 2013, but a stress test could not be completed because Plaintiff's heart rate increased and his "skin color changed."
On June 17, 2013, Plaintiff began having severe chest pains and shortness of breath. Plaintiff was not seen by Augusta medical personnel until June 19, 2013, wherein he was told he needed to be seen by a gastroenterologist and was prescribed pain medication which he never received. Plaintiff submitted a grievance on June 19, 2013. Plaintiff had an appointment to be seen by the Cardiologist at Augusta on June 27, 2013, but it was cancelled and he was returned to Autry State Prison. On July 1, 2013 and July 2, 2013, Plaintiff submitted two more grievances regarding the pain medication. Plaintiff contends he was summoned to Defendant Counselor ...