United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
currently incarcerated at Telfair State Prison
(“TSP”) in Helena, Georgia, commenced the
above-captioned case 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 as Defendants (1) Phillip Hall; (2) Rodney McCloud; and
(3) Ms. Lewis. (Doc. no. 1, p. 1.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
December 22, 2017, several gang members with knives
threatened Plaintiff, telling him to leave the B-C-D building
and they would be assault him if he returned. (Id.
at 5.) Because Plaintiff left and did not return, he was
given a disciplinary report for refusing housing and lost an
opportunity to receive parole points. (Id.)
Plaintiff was then placed in Room 118 in Building B-2.
(Id.; doc. no. 1-1, p. 1.)
housed in Room 118, gang members came to Plaintiff's cell
and assaulted him, beating him and placing him in a
chokehold. (Doc. no. 1-1, p. 1.) They told him he needed to
pack his stuff and get out of the dorm, and they escorted him
to the officer booth. (Id.) When Sergeant Mathis
arrived, Plaintiff informed her of the situation.
(Id.) Instead of taking him to get medical attention
from the assault, Sergeant Mathis placed him in segregation
with a Crip roommate. (Id.) By notarized letter,
Plaintiff norified all Defendants of him “being
assaulted and threatened again for the second time.”
(Id. at 2.) Plaintiff has also written several
statements and grievances about the incident. (Id.
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.
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. Direc TV, Inc., 450
F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Supervisory Liability
attempts to hold Defendants liable because they knew about
the gang assault after the fact but took no action. However,
“[s]upervisory officials are not liable under §
1983 for the unconstitutional acts of their subordinates on
the basis of respondeat superior or vicarious
liability.” Hartley v. Parnell, 193 F.3d 1263,
1269 (11th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted); see also Dalrymple v. Reno, 334 F.3d 991,
995 (11th Cir. 2003). “Because vicarious liability is
inapplicable to § 1983 actions, a plaintiff must plead
that each Government-official defendant, through the
official's own individual actions, has violated the
Constitution.” Rosa v. Fla. Dep't of
Corr., 522 Fed.Appx. 710, 714 (11th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676) (internal quotations
omitted). Therefore, to hold a supervisor liable, Plaintiff
must demonstrate that either (1) he actually participated in
the alleged constitutional violation, or (2) there is a
causal connection between his actions and the alleged
constitutional violation. See Hartley, 193 F.3d at
1269 (citing Brown v. ...