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Rhodes v. McCloud

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division

March 21, 2019

CEDRIC SANCHEZ RHODES, Plaintiff,
v.
RODNEY McCLOUD, Deputy Warden; OFFICER ADAMKIEWICZ, Shower Team/Escort Officer; and NURSE MURRAY, Defendants.

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BRIAN K. EFPS, UNIED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Telfair State Prison (“TSP”) in Helena, 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 amended 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).

         I. SCREENING OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT

         A. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff names as Defendants: (1) Rodney McCloud, Deputy Warden; (2) Officer Adamkiewicz; and (3) Nurse Murray. (Doc. no. 14, pp. 1-2.) Taking all of Plaintiff's allegations as true, as the Court must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as follows.

         On November 1, 2018, Officer Adamkiewicz escorted Plaintiff from the shower in an unsecured manner. (Id. at 4.) While handcuffed behind the back, Plaintiff fell very hard from a set of stairs onto his back, neck, and buttocks. (Id.) Officer Adamkiewicz knew the floors were wet and ignored a caution sign, which caused Plaintiff to fall. (Id. at 6.) When Plaintiff asked Officer Adamkiewicz to call medical, she did so and informed medical Plaintiff slipped in water. (Id. at 4.) Nurse Murray arrived after approximately fifteen minutes. (Id.) Officer Adamkiewicz told Nurse Murray Plaintiff slipped in water on the stairway. (Id.) A nurse assisting Nurse Murray asked Plaintiff if he could move. (Id.) Plaintiff told her he could not and his back, neck, and buttocks hurt. (Id.) Nurse Murray and her assistant saw Plaintiff was bleeding from his lower back where the handcuffs dug in, but the nurses ignored his complaint and injury. (Id.) Nurse Murray failed to examine Plaintiff. (Id. at 6.) Nurse Murray became mad at Plaintiff and told officers to return Plaintiff to his cell. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff was denied Tylenol, ibuprofen, and bandages. (Id.) Plaintiff received pain medication and physical therapy one month later. (Id.) Plaintiff still experiences sharp pain in his back, neck, and buttocks. (Id.)

         Deputy Warden McCloud created a policy of allowing a single officer to escort inmates without securing them properly. (Id. at 3.) Officer Adamkiewicz violated S.O.P. policy by not securing Plaintiff's arms properly and not ensuring two or more officers escorted Plaintiff in the segregation isolation units. (Id. at 4.)

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks: (1) declaratory relief; (2) $5, 000 in compensatory damages against each Defendant, jointly and severally; (3) $5, 000 in punitive damages against Officer Adamkiewicz; (4) $10, 000 in punitive damages against Nurse Murray; and (5) an injunction preventing TSP officers from escorting inmates without at least one additional officer present. (Id.)

         B. DISCUSSION

         1. Legal Standard for Screening

         The amended 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)).

         To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the allegations in the amended 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 amended 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 amended 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. 8(a)(2)).

         Finally, 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 ...


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