United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate at Augusta State Medical Prison
(“ASMP”) in Grovetown, 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. 2006).
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names as Defendants: (1) Scott Wilkes, Warden; (2) Tommy
Tremble, Deputy Warden of Security; (3) Clifford Brown, Unit
Manager; (4) Captain (“Capt.”) Collier; and (5)
Officer Robinson. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 4, 7-8.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's allegations as true, as the Court must for
purposes of the present screening, the facts are as follows.
November 6, 2017, an unknown inmate assaulted Plaintiff in
housing unit 3B at ASMP. (Id. at 5.) At the time,
Plaintiff was in restraints and defenseless. (Id.)
Prior to the incident, an unknown officer saw the attacker
threaten Plaintiff and allowed the attacker to return to
attack Plaintiff. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff alleges his
Eighth Amendment rights were violated because Defendants
failed to protect Plaintiff and ensure his safety was in good
hands. (Id. at 5.)
Wilkes is liable because he is legally responsible for ASMP.
(Id.) Deputy Warden Tremble is responsible for the
safety of ASMP as a whole, and Unit Manager Brown is liable
because he is in charge of the medical housing unit.
(Id.) Capt. Collier is liable because he is a
captain over security and violated some unstated policy, and
Officer Robinson is liable because he failed to make sure
Plaintiff's safety was in good hands. (Id.) As a
result of the action, Plaintiff is suffering from mental
issues, and in particular, he suffers from paranoia and
traumatization, which is causing him to act “off
instinct.” (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff is suing all
Defendants in their individual and official capacities.
(Id.) He seeks compensatory, punitive, and nominal
damages for a total of $5, 000, 000. (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, 327 (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 for 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
unadorned, the defendant unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. An
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. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). 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).
Warden Wilkes, Deputy Warden Tremble, Unit Manager Brown, and
Capt. Collier Cannot Be Held Liable Based on a Theory of
complaint fails to state a claim against Warden Wilkes,
Deputy Warden Tremble, Unit Manager Brown, and Capt. Collier
because he is attempting to hold them liable merely in light
of their supervisory positions. “Supervisory 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 Rosa v.
Fla. Dep't of Corr., 522 Fed.Appx. 710, 714 (11th
Cir. 2013). Likewise, supervisors and employers cannot be
sued under § 1983 simply on a theory of respondeat
superior. See Kruger v. Jenne, 164 F.Supp.2d
1330, 1333-34 (S.D. Fla. 2000) ...