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Walker v. City of Atlanta

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

November 10, 2014

ERIC D. WALKER, Plaintiff,
CITY OF ATLANTA et al., Defendants.


LINDA T. WALKER, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff is confined at the Will County Adult Detention Center in Joliet, Illinois. Plaintiff, pro se, seeks damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 regarding his visit to Atlanta, Georgia in April 2013. (Doc. 6.)

The Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis and screened his complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. (Doc. 3.) The Court found that Plaintiff's complaint did not state a claim upon which relief may be granted, but allowed him to file an amended complaint that includes more facts. ( Id. ) Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, (Doc. 6), and a motion to supplement the amended complaint, (Doc. 8). The amended complaint now must be screened.

I. The 28 U.S.C. § 1915A Standard

Federal courts must screen a prisoner complaint to determine whether the action: (1) is frivolous or malicious or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A claim is frivolous, and must be dismissed, when it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d 1091, 1100 (11th Cir. 2008). A district court also must dismiss a complaint if the alleged facts do not state a plausible claim for relief. Sinaltrainal v. Coca-Cola Co., 578 F.3d 1252, 1260 (11th Cir. 2009).

To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 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 deprivation occurred under color of state law. Richardson v. Johnson, 598 F.3d 734, 737 (11th Cir. 2010). If a plaintiff cannot satisfy those requirements, or fails to provide factual allegations in support of his claim, the complaint may be dismissed. Id. at 737-38.

II. Plaintiff's Claims[1]

Plaintiff is an Illinois resident who visited Atlanta in March 2013. On April 1, 2013, Plaintiff was walking to the Magic City nightclub in Atlanta when two police officers in plain clothes got out of a police car and asked Plaintiff what he threw on the ground. Plaintiff replied that he had thrown nothing.

The officers then grabbed Plaintiff and threw him to the ground to arrest him for littering. In the process of arresting him, the officers hit Plaintiff and one officer put his knee in Plaintiff's back. The officers then handcuffed Plaintiff and emptied his pockets. Plaintiff asked to be taken to the hospital, but the officers denied the request. Plaintiff does not know the officers' names.

The officers took Plaintiff to the Atlanta City Jail. Plaintiff saw a nurse there and requested medical treatment. The nurse denied medical treatment, and a captain at the jail also denied Plaintiff's request for medical treatment despite Plaintiff telling him he had a hard time breathing. Plaintiff does not know the nurse's or captain's names.

A court sentenced Plaintiff to ten days in the city jail for littering. Because he was denied medical treatment at the jail, Plaintiff went on a hunger strike. Plaintiff was then taken to Grady Hospital, where he received treatment for several hours.

When Plaintiff completed his ten-day sentence in the city jail on approximately April 10, 2013, a Fulton County sheriff's deputy picked him up on an outstanding warrant and took him to the county jail. The warrant was for a probation violation by David L. Walker. Plaintiff told officials at the county jail that he was not David L. Walker and had no outstanding warrant. Plaintiff was released a few hours later when officials learned he was not the person identified in the warrant. Plaintiff then returned to Illinois.

Plaintiff contends that he suffered unidentified injuries to his wrists, back, neck, and face during the arrest, as well as some degree of hearing loss. Plaintiff contends he also suffered mental anguish, suffered damage to his reputation, and incurred other expenses as a result of the arrest and ten-day confinement.

Plaintiff seeks damages from the unknown officers who arrested him and denied him medical care at the city jail. Plaintiff also seeks damages from the city, the county, the chief of police, and the county sheriff for the allegedly unlawful arrest, search, confinement, use of force, and denial ...

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