United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
JOSEPH TIGER D. PRINCE, Plaintiff,
ELIZABETH ROBERTS; V. BROWN; OFFICER KNIGHT; OFFICER STROUP; and JACQULYN CHAMPION, Defendants.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate at Augusta State Medical Prison
(“ASMP”) in Grovetown, Georgia, commenced the
above-captioned case in the Northern District of Georgia,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has paid the $400.00
filing fee. United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash,
Jr., transferred the case to the Southern District of Georgia
because the above-named Defendants are located in this
District, and the events giving rise to Plaintiff's
claims against them also occurred here. (See
doc. nos. 11, 13.) Notwithstanding the payment of the filing
fee, the case or any portion thereof may be dismissed 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 to such relief. See Leal v.
Georgia Dep't of Corr., 254 F.3d 1276, 1277-78 (11th
Cir. 2001) (per curiam); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
SCREENING OF THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
second amended complaint, signed on November 15, 2017,
Plaintiff names the following Defendants: (1) Jacqulyn
Champion, Food Director at ASMP; (2) V. Brown, Food Steward
at ASMP; (3) Elizabeth Roberts, a Deputy Warden at ASMP; (4)
Officer Knight, a correctional officer at ASMP; and (5)
Officer Stroup, a correctional officer at ASMP currently
serving as a Disciplinary Report Investigator. (See
doc. no. 10, pp. 1, 8.) Taking all of Plaintiff's factual
allegations as true, as the Court must for purposes of the
present screening, the facts are as follows.
November 4, 2013, approximately nine to ten boxes of canned
goods fell on Plaintiff while he was assigned to the ASMP
Kitchen Warehouse. (Id. at 4.) Prior to the November
4th accident, Plaintiff informed Defendants Champion, Brown,
and Roberts about the faulty storage racks, but they did
nothing to fix the problem. (Id. at 4-5.) Correcting
the hazardous working conditions caused by the storage racks
could have averted the November 4th accident that resulted in
neck and shoulder injuries to Plaintiff requiring surgery.
(Id. at 5.)
August 8, 2017, Plaintiff returned to ASMP after neck
surgery. Defendant Stroup and a second, unknown correctional
officer were responsible for escorting Plaintiff, and
Defendant Stroup asked Plaintiff to sit in a wheelchair that
had a puddle of rain water in the seat. (Id.)
Plaintiff requested the seat be dried, but Defendant Stroup
refused and told Defendant Knight that Plaintiff was refusing
to exit the transport van. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff and
Defendant Knight exchanged words, and when Plaintiff
attempted to exit the transport van, Defendant Knight slammed
Plaintiff into the van's side window, aggravating the
injuries for which he had just had surgery. (Id.)
Legal Standard for Screening
forth above, the case or any portion thereof may be dismissed
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 to such relief. See
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) &
1915A. A claim is frivolous if it “lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (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 Fed.Appx. 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing
Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir.
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the complaint must
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (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 (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
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A
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 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.
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. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, this liberal
construction does not mean that the Court has a duty to
re-write the complaint. Snow v. DirecTV, Inc., 450
F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff's Claims Against Defendants Champion, Brown,
and Roberts Are Time-Barred.
claims against Defendants Champion, Brown, and Roberts are
subject to dismissal under the statute of limitations
applicable in Georgia. State law controls the length of the
statute of limitations period in § 1983 actions.
Abreu-Velez v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. Sys. of Ga.,
248 Fed.Appx. 116, 117 (11th Cir. 2007); Lawson v.
Glover, 957 F.2d 801, 803 (11th Cir. 1987). In Georgia,
such claims for injuries to the person must be brought within
two years of their accrual. Richards v. Cobb County,
Ga., 487 Fed.Appx. 556, 557 (11th Cir. 2012);
Williams v. City of Atlanta, 794 F.2d 624, 626 (11th
Cir. 1986); O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Although state law
determines the applicable statute of limitations period,
federal law determines the date of accrual. See Brown v.
Ga. Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, 335 F.3d 1259, 1261
(11th Cir. 2003); Rozar v. Mullis, 85 F.3d 556, 561
(11th Cir. 1996). Under § 1983, ...