United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPFS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a pretrial detainee at Charles B. Webster Detention Center in
Augusta, Georgia, is proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis (“IFP”) in this case filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 regarding events alleged to
have occurred 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).
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names as Defendant Richmond County Police Department
Investigator John M. Perkins. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 3.) Taking
all of Plaintiff's allegations as true, as the Court must
for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
December 9, 2017, Inv. Perkins responded to Plaintiff's
home in reference to a disturbance. (Id. at 3.)
Samuel Noling and Jennifer Bannister alleged they were robbed
and struck about the head and body with a firewood log and a
metal pole. (Id.) Inv. Perkins took two statements
from each alleged victim, and their statements were
inconsistent. (Id.) Inv. Perkins determined Mr.
Noling and Ms. Bannister had active bench warrants for their
arrest. (Id.) Inv. Perkins made an investigative
note indicating he decided not to arrest Ms. Bannister
because she had not yet sought medical treatment for her head
wounds. (Id. at 4.) Inv. Perkins interviewed Mr.
Noling at Augusta University Medical Center, where he was
being treated for his injuries. (Id.) Inv. Perkins
did not arrest Mr. Noling or explain the basis for his
decision not to do so. (Id.)
Tyler, Plaintiff's girlfriend, informed Inv. Perkins that
Mr. Noling used his head to strike her upper lip and struck
her elbow. (Id.) Mr. Noling was never charged.
(Id.) Ms. Bannister informed Inv. Perkins that Ms.
Tyler began striking the passenger side of Mr. Noling's
truck with a metal pole, so Mr. Nolan got out of the truck to
make Ms. Tyler stop. (Id.) Windy Sherman, a witness,
informed Inv. Perkins she did not see Plaintiff take anything
from Mr. Noling. (Id.) Ms. Tyler informed Inv.
Perkins she did not see Plaintiff carrying anything when he
ran away. (Id.) Inv. Perkins intentionally
discriminated against Plaintiff and Ms. Tyler. (Id.)
January 30, 2018, a true bill of indictment was returned
charging Plaintiff and Ms. Tyler with armed robbery and
aggravated assault. (Id. at 5.) Inv. Perkins
appeared as a witness for the state. (Id.) On May
15, 2018, Plaintiff and Ms. Tyler were re-indicted for armed
robbery and aggravated assault. (Id.)
feels “like race has a lot to do with his case”
and asserts this would not have happened to a white man on
private property. (Id.) People assume black people
are “thugs, gangsters, criminals, and illiterate . . .
.” (Id.) Plaintiff was indicted despite
exculpatory accounts of the events, did not receive a
preliminary hearing, and has been held without bond since
March 15, 2018. (Id.) Plaintiff wrote his
“public defender attorney” asking him to file
motions to inspect the grand jury minutes, dismiss the
indictment, and seek discovery and Brady materials.
(Id. at 6.) Plaintiff's counsel filed a motion
to withdraw as counsel in his criminal case. (Id.)
relief, Plaintiff seeks a preliminary and permanent
injunction ordering his release, compensatory damages for
lost wages, punitive damages, court costs, and any additional
relief the Court deems just, proper, and equitable.
(Id. at 7.)
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. 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 ...