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Bayse v. Holt

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

September 7, 2017

ROBERT D. BAYSE, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN A. HOLT et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker's Non-Final Report and Recommendation [6] (“R&R”), recommending under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A that Plaintiff's retaliation claims against Defendants Warden A. Holt and Arthur Chaney be allowed to proceed, Plaintiff's claim of deliberate indifference to medical needs be dismissed without prejudice, and all of Plaintiff's remaining claims and all Defendants be dismissed. Also before the Court are Plaintiff Robert D. Bayse's[1] (“Plaintiff”) Objections [8] to the R&R.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 15, 2017, Plaintiff, a state prisoner, filed her pro se Civil Rights Complaint Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [1] (“Complaint”), alleging violations of her constitutional rights by a number of correctional officers and the prison warden while she was confined at Phillips State Prison (“Phillips”). Plaintiff alleges that (1) Defendants Sanford and Dozier exercised deliberate indifference toward her medical need for gender reassignment surgery for her gender dysphoria; (2) Defendant B. Brown engaged in derogatory statements and harmful actions toward Plaintiff amounting to excessive force, harassment, and retaliation; (3) Defendants Holt and Chaney retaliated against her for complaining to Phillips officials and external agencies about their mistreatment of her; and (4) Defendant Holt generally failed to protect her in 2016 from Defendant Chaney and others. (Compl. at 3-4, 6-11).

         On May 25, 2017, the Magistrate Judge screened Plaintiff's Complaint and issued her R&R, recommending that this action be allowed to proceed in part and dismissed in part under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. On June 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed her Objections to the R&R. While difficult to evaluate, the Court concludes that Plaintiff reiterates, as objections, (1) her claim for deliberate indifference relating to her need for gender reassignment surgery (Obj. at 2-5); and (2) her claims against Defendant B. Brown for his alleged derogatory statements and harmful actions (Obj. at 1-2). The Court considers these as Plaintiff's objections to the Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations on Plaintiff's deliberate indifference and derogatory statements and harmful actions claims.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Frivolity Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         A federal court must screen “a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court is required to dismiss the complaint if it is “frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or if it “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). A claim is frivolous, and must be dismissed, where it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d 1091, 1100 (11th Cir. 2008).

         Plaintiff filed her Complaint pro se. “A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nevertheless, a pro se plaintiff must comply with the threshold requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Beckwith v. Bellsouth Telecomms. Inc., 146 F. App'x 368, 371 (11th Cir. 2005). “Even though a pro se complaint should be construed liberally, a pro se complaint still must state a claim upon which the Court can grant relief.” Grigsby v. Thomas, 506 F.Supp.2d 26, 28 (D.D.C. 2007). “[A] district court does not have license to rewrite a deficient pleading.” Osahar v. U.S. Postal Serv., 297 F. App'x 863, 864 (11th Cir. 2008).

         B. Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation

         After conducting a careful and complete review of the findings and recommendations, a district judge may accept, reject, or modify a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d 732 (11th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 1112 (1983). A district judge “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where no party has objected to the report and recommendation, the Court conducts only a plain error review of the record. United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983) (per curiam).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Court first considers, on de novo review, whether (1) Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim or (2) Plaintiff's claims relating to Defendant B. Brown's various alleged derogatory statements and harmful actions are viable claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court, in the absence of an objection, reviews the remainder of the R&R for plain error.

         A. Deliberate ...


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