United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
KENDRICK R. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
SCOTT WILKES, Head Warden; ANTONIO ROSS, Sergeant over CERT; and SERENA CHANCE, Lieutenant, Individually and in their Official Capacities, Defendants.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
currently incarcerated at Augusta State Medical Prison
(“ASMP”) in Grovetown, Georgia, commenced the
above-captioned case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Because he is proceeding 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).
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names as Defendants (1) Scott Wilkes, Head Warden; (2)
Antonio Ross, Sergeant over CERT, Major; and (3) Serena
Chance, Lieutenant. (Doc. no. 6, pp. 1, 5.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
is assigned to the Tier Two Mental Health Disciplinary
Program and assigned to Cell #118, Unit 11, B wing, dorm 2.
(Id. at 7.) On March 27, 2017, between 5:00 and 6:00
p.m., Plaintiff allegedly came out of his cell and began
attacking another inmate with a broom. (Id. at 8.)
Defendants, along with other prison officials, responded to
this alleged attack and immediately placed handcuffs on
Plaintiff, who complied completely with all their
Plaintiff was secured, Defendant Chance, who was wearing a
handheld camcorder, stepped back to where the camcorder could
only record the back of one of the other officers.
(Id. at 9.) Defendant Ross then instructed the
officials detaining Plaintiff to place Plaintiff face down on
the floor. (Id.) While Plaintiff was lying face down
in handcuffs, Defendant Ross tased Plaintiff. (Id.
at 10.) Defendants Chance and Wilkes observed Defendant
Ross's actions, but did not stop him. (Id.)
Defendants took Plaintiff to medical, where he was medically
cleared, and issued him a disciplinary report for failure to
follow instructions, unauthorized presence, and injury to an
inmate/oneself. (Id. at 10-11.)
Legal Standard for Screening
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, or 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, 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 F.
App'x 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v.
Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)).
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 Fails to State an Official Capacity Claim Against
sues Defendants “individually and in their official
capacities.” (Doc. no. 5, p. 1.) However, the Eleventh
Amendment bars official capacity claims against state prison
officials for money damages. Kentucky v. Graham, 473
U.S. 159, 169 (1985). Therefore, Plaintiffs official ...