United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNI LED STALES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
currently detained at the Burke County Jail (“the
Jail”) in Waynesboro, Georgia, is proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis (“IFP”) in
this case filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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.
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names the following as Defendants: (1) Chester V. Huffman, a
Major at the Jail; (2) John H. Bush, a Major at the Jail; (3)
Cassandra Haynes, a Captain at the Jail; (4) Randall
Williams, a doctor at the Jail; (5) Krystal/Christy Johnson,
a nurse at the Jail; and (6) Heather Ashley, a nurse at the
Jail. (See doc. no. 1, pp. 1-3, 4.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
is a pretrial detainee at the Jail who awoke on January 6,
2018, with a sharp pain in his back tooth. (Id. at
5.) Nurse Johnson saw him in the medical department on
January 8, 2018, and gave him a seven-day supply of Tylenol,
which eased the pain but did not address the underlying
problem with his tooth, and his face began to
swell. (Id.) On January 15, 2018, Nurse
Ashley prescribed a seven-day supply of Amoxicillin, but
swelling persisted in his face and jaw. (Id.) Both
nurses told Plaintiff he could only receive Tylenol for seven
days per month, but they would put him on the list to see a
February 11, 2018, Plaintiff had not seen a dentist, but his
ear had started hurting. (Id.) Plaintiff could
hardly sleep from the pain, but Nurse Johnson only gave him a
four-day supply of Tylenol. (Id.) By February 28,
2018, Plaintiff still had not seen the dentist, but he now
had blood and puss draining from his ear. (Id.)
Nurse Johnson told Plaintiff to put in a sick call slip and
buy some Tylenol from the commissary. (Id.)
Plaintiff continued to complain about his ear and reported
ringing and loss of hearing in his ear. (Id. at 6.)
On March 4, 2018, Nurse Ashley looked in Plaintiff's ear,
told him it was infected but antibiotics should clear it up,
and told him his ear drum was not ruptured. (Id.)
March 9, 2018, Plaintiff saw Dr. Williams, who told Plaintiff
he had a broken, infected tooth with an exposed root, and two
other bad teeth. (Id.) However, Dr. Williams would
only order a stronger antibiotic and would not send Plaintiff
to the dentist because the broken tooth had to be cut out.
(Id.) Dr. Williams also looked in Plaintiff's
ear and said his eardrum was ruptured, just days after Nurse
Ashley told him the eardrum was not ruptured. (Id.
at 6-7.) Plaintiff has offered to pay for going to the
dentist, but as of the date of signing the complaint, he
still had not been seen by the dentist. (Id. at 7.)
Plaintiff is now “completely deaf” in his left
has written letters and grievances to Defendants Huffman,
Bush, and Haynes, but they have not made sure that he is seen
by a dentist, or done anything about Plaintiff's hearing.
(Id. at 6-7.) Plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages from each Defendant. (Id. at 7-8.)
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 ...