United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia, Dublin Division
Phillip Daniel Adams, Plaintiff, Pro se, Alamo, GA.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRIAN K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Plaintiff, an inmate at Wheeler Correctional Facility (" WCF") in Alamo, Georgia, brought the above-captioned case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On September 17, 2014, the Court ordered Plaintiff to amend his complaint to correct certain pleading deficiencies. (Doc. no. 8.) Plaintiff has submitted an amended complaint in accordance with that order. (Doc. no. 10.) Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis (" IFP"), Plaintiff's amended complaint must be screened to protect potential defendants. Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984); Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 F.App'x 733, 736 (11th Cir. 2006).
I. SCREENING OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
Plaintiff names as Defendants in this case Jason Medlin, the Warden of WCF, and Pat Clark, the Medical Director at WCF. (Doc. no. 10, pp. 1, 4.) Taking all of Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as follows.
On March 26, 2013, Plaintiff was diagnosed with Bell's palsy. ( Id. at 5.) Plaintiff lost sight in his left eye and there was puss draining from the eye. ( Id.) Medical personnel first treated the eye and prescribed Plaintiff medication on May 15, 2013, more than six weeks after the initial diagnosis. ( Id.) The medication failed to treat the problems. ( Id.)
On July 31, 2013, Plaintiff saw an outside specialist, who prescribed him Tobradex drops and ointment. ( Id.) Plaintiff received the drops on August 16, 2013, and the ointment on November 1, 2013. ( Id.) Both the drops and ointment were reordered on December 1, 2013, and Plaintiff received them on January 28, 2014. ( Id.) The drops and the ointment were reordered on December 1, 2013, but Plaintiff did not receive the refills until January 28, 2014. ( Id.) Plaintiff is again out of eye ointment and has not received more as of June 17, 2014, the date he signed this complaint. ( Id.) Plaintiff states that Defendant Clark stopped ordering the medication even though his symptoms remain and has denied follow-up treatment. ( Id.) Plaintiff states that he " remains partially blind" and seeks compensatory and punitive damages from each Defendant. ( Id.)
1. Legal Standard for Screening
The amended complaint or any portion thereof may be dismissed if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, of if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune to such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). A claim is frivolous if it " lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989). " Failure to state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)." Wilkerson v. H & S, Inc., 366 F.App'x 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)).
To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the allegations in the amended complaint must " state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). " A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). That is, " [f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not require detailed factual allegations, " it demands more than an unadorned, the defendant unlawfully-harmed-me accusation."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. An amended complaint is insufficient if it " offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, '" or if it " tenders 'naked assertions' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557). In short, the amended complaint must provide a " 'plain statement' possess[ing] enough heft to 'sho[w] that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
Finally, the court affords a liberal construction to a pro se litigant's pleadings, holding them to a more lenient standard than those drafted by an attorney. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007). However, this liberal construction does not mean that the court has a ...