United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
TAVARRES J. HENDERSON, Plaintiff,
RICHARD ROUNDTREE, Sheriff, and OFFICER BROWN, Jailer, Defendants.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate at Autry State Prison in Pelham, Georgia, is
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) in this case, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, concerning events alleged to have occurred while
he was a pretrial detainee at the Charles B. Webster
Detention Center (“the Jail”) in Augusta,
Georgia. Because he is proceeding IFP, Plaintiff's
complaint must be screened to protect potential defendants.
Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir.
1984); Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 Fed.Appx. 733, 736
(11th Cir. 2006).
names the following as Defendants: (1) Richard Roundtree,
Sheriff of Richmond County, and (2) Officer Brown, Jailer.
(See doc. no. 1, pp. 1-2.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
January 9, 2018, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee in
protective custody, F-E Block, at the Jail, and Defendant
Brown “was in control of the protective custody
booth.” (Id. at 4, 5.) Plaintiff was let out
of his cell for the weekly change of bed linens, but when he
realized the trustees had not yet arrived with the new
linens, he decided to return to his cell. (Id. at
4.) Two other inmates, released from their cells on the top
tier of protective custody by Defendant Brown, came down the
stairs and began to punch and kick Plaintiff as he made his
way back to his cell. (Id.) In the process of
fighting off his two attackers, Plaintiff's finger was
slammed in the door. (Id.) Defendant Brown
“refused to reply” when Plaintiff told him what
happened, but Plaintiff was taken to the emergency room to
re-attach his finger. (Id.)
his return to the Jail the next day, Plaintiff told Jail
officials he wanted to press criminal charges against the
inmates who attacked him and caused the severance of part of
his finger, but investigators told Plaintiff his story was
not consistent with the video surveillance. (Id. at
4-5.) Plaintiff was not allowed to view the video.
(Id. at 5.) At some point, Plaintiff
“notified” Defendant Roundtree about the January
9, 2018 attack, but the Sheriff turned the matter over to
Internal Affairs. (Id.) Plaintiff does not state how
or when he “notified” Defendant Roundtree about
the events of January 9, 2018. Even though Defendant Brown
knew about and disregarded protective custody policy and
procedures by letting multiple individuals out of their
protective custody cells at the same time, Defendant
Roundtree did nothing to change procedures in the protective
custody section of the Jail. (Id.)
seeks a declaration his Eighth Amendment and Equal Protection
rights were violated, as well as monetary damages against
each Defendant. (Id. at 22.)
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
Fed.Appx. 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.
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. 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 a Valid Equal Protection
establish an equal protection claim, a prisoner must
demonstrate that (1) he is similarly situated with other
prisoners who received more favorable treatment; and (2) his
discriminatory treatment was based on some constitutionally
protected interest such as race.” Jones v.
Ray, 279 F.3d 944, 946-47 (11th Cir. 2001); see also
Elston v. Talladega County Bd. of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394,
1406 (11th Cir. 1993) (requiring plaintiff to ...