United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an inmate at Johnson State Prison in Wrightsville, 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) Georgia Department of Corrections,
Office of Health Services; and (2) the Americans with
Disabilities Act Coordinator at Georgia Department of
Corrections. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 4.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's allegations as true, as the Court must for
purposes of the present screening, the facts are as follows.
Georgia Department of Corrections (“GDC”) exposed
serious mentally ill prisoners to a substantial risk of harm.
(Id. at 5.) GDC knows about the deficiencies but
fails to take reasonable measures to abate the risks.
(Id.) Inmates have died in GDC because of a lack of
basic mental health care, and hundreds of other inmates
remain at a risk of substantial physical injury, mental
decompensation, and permanent mental illness. (Id.)
Prisoners have a reasonable expectation of having their basic
health needs, including mental health needs, met by the
State. (Id.) GDC is deficient in six areas as to
their treatment and care of seriously mentally ill prisoners.
(Id.) GDC's mental health program is severely
understaffed, especially as to mental health professionals.
(Id.) Mentally ill prisoners are exposed to a
disproportionate use of force in segregation and solitary
confinement. (Id.) Plaintiff seeks relief based on
deliberate indifference to his serious mental health illness.
(Id. at 6.) Plaintiff has suffered depression,
“injuries to [his] thinking, ” and PTSD because
of what he has seen happen to other mental health inmates in
GDC custody. (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. 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. 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).
Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim Upon Which Relief May be
Eleventh Circuit has held a district court properly dismisses
a defendant where a prisoner, other than naming the defendant
in the caption of the complaint, fails to state any
allegations that associate the defendant with the purported
constitutional violation. Douglas v. Yates, 535 F.3d
1316, 1321-22 (11th Cir. 2008) (“While we do not
require technical niceties in pleading, we must demand that
the complaint state with some minimal particularity how overt
acts of the defendant caused a legal wrong.”).
Plaintiff does not allege any facts indicating how either the
GDC Office of Health Services or the unnamed Americans with
Disabilities Act Coordinator at GDC has caused any of the
harms alleged in his complaint.
Plaintiff's complaint consists of nothing but a short
series of naked assertions devoid of any factual detail
concerning mental health treatment of inmates by GDC.
Plaintiff generally describes some purported inadequacies of
GDC's treatment of its mentally ill inmates and states in
a conclusory manner some GDC inmates have died in GDC custody
and others are at risk of physical and mental injury as a
result of GDC's treatment. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff
contends, again without supporting facts, he has experienced
depression, “injuries to [his] thinking, ” and
PTSD as a result of witnessing the treatment of other inmates
with mental health issues. (Id. at 6.) However,
Plaintiff alleges no facts describing his own mental health
issues, treatment, and any purported treatment inadequacies.
He also fails to allege how Defendants are responsible for
providing mental health treatment or ensuring it is adequate