United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
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
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).
SCREENING OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
names as Defendants: (1) Scott Wilkes, Warden; (2) Clifford
Brown, Unit Manager; and (3) Officer Robinson. (Doc. no. 14,
p. 2.) 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, Plaintiff was at the Crisis Special Unit
(“CSU”) at ASMP. (Id. at 5.) Around 8:00
a.m., Plaintiff was verbally threatened through his cell door
by an unknown inmate (“unit worker”) working in
the CSU. (Id.) The unit worker told Plaintiff he was
going to kill him the first chance he got. (Id.)
After being threatened, Plaintiff immediately went to his
cell door to inform Officer Robinson. (Id. at 12.)
Plaintiff shouted for Officer Robinson, which prompted the
unit worker to come back to Plaintiff's cell and call him
a snitch. (Id.) Plaintiff then asked the unit worker
to leave him alone. (Id.) While speaking to the unit
worker, Plaintiff noticed Officer Robinson looking in his
direction, and when Officer Robinson and Plaintiff made eye
contact, Officer Robinson immediately looked away and
disregarded Plaintiff's shouts for help. (Id.)
The unit worker then walked away. (Id.)
little while later, Officer Robinson came to Plaintiff's
cell and asked if he wanted to see the doctor. (Id.)
At this time, Plaintiff told Officer Robinson about the
threats made by the unit worker. (Id.) Plaintiff
begged Officer Robinson to tell Unit Manager Clifford Brown
and Chief of Security Captain Collier about the threats.
(Id.) Officer Robinson said he would. (Id.)
Plaintiff next asked to not leave his cell until his life was
not in danger, to which Officer Robinson did not respond and
walked away. (Id.)
after this, Officer Robinson returned, placed Plaintiff in
handcuffs, and escorted him out of his cell. (Id. at
13.) While being handcuffed, Plaintiff asked where the unit
worker was and if anything had been done about the threats.
(Id.) Officer Robinson told Plaintiff not to worry
and that he was ok. (Id.) Officer Robinson escorted
Plaintiff to the doctor and left Plaintiff alone to wait with
his hands still cuffed. (Id.) At this time,
Plaintiff was approached by the unit worker. (Id.)
The unit worker told Plaintiff he should kill him now, but he
walked off. (Id.) Then, Officer Robinson returned
and took Plaintiff to the nurse to check his vital signs.
(Id.) Plaintiff informed Officer Robinson about what
the unit worker said, which Officer Robinson replied
“you ain't [sic] hurt yet, you'll be ok.”
(Id. at 14.) Officer Robinson also said he spoke to
Unit Manager Brown who said he would handle it.
being escorted back to his cell by Officer Robinson,
Plaintiff was attacked by the unit worker. (Id.)
During the attack, Officer Robinson ran away and left
Plaintiff alone. (Id.) Plaintiff was stabbed fifteen
times. (Id.) Eventually, a nurse came to
Plaintiff's aid and tried to pull the unit worker off
Plaintiff by hitting the unit worker with a chair.
(Id.) About eight minutes later, Officer Robinson
came back and, along with the nurse, removed the unit worker
from Plaintiff. (Id.) Also arriving with Officer
Robinson, the Corrections Emergency Response Team
(“CERT”) removed the unit worker from the area.
the attack, Plaintiff overheard Unit Manager Brown tell
Warden Wilkes he was notified of the threat but he did not
think of it as serious. (Id. at 15.) Plaintiff was
taken to the local hospital for treatment of his wounds.
(Id.) In addition to multiple stab wounds receiving
stitches, Plaintiff suffered from a broken nose and collar
bone. (Id.) After two months of treatment,
Plaintiff's stitches were removed, and he has not
received any follow up treatment. (Id.) Plaintiff
also suffers from emotional distress and nightmares from the
alleges all Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
safety. He seeks a declaratory judgment that his
Constitutional rights were violated based on the facts as he
alleges them, $100, 000 in compensatory damages from each
Defendant, an additional $50, 000 in compensatory damages
from Warden Wilkes and Officer Robinson, $25, 000 in punitive
damages from Officer Robinson and Unit Manager Brown, and
$15, 000 in punitive damages from Warden Wilkes.
(Id. at 18.)
construing Plaintiff's allegations in his favor and
granting him the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be
derived from the facts alleged, the Court finds Plaintiff has
arguably stated a viable Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Officer Robinson and Unit Manager
Clifford Brown. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 824,
834-39 (1994) (“A prison official's
‘deliberate indifference' to a substantial risk of
serious harm to an inmate violates the Eighth
Amendment.”). Accordingly, process shall issue as to
Officer Robinson and Unit Manager Brown. In a companion
Report and Recommendation, the Court recommends dismissal of
Defendant Warden Wilkes and Plaintiff's claim against
Officer Robinson for deliberate indifference by failing to
intervene in an inmate-on-inmate assault.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that service of process shall be
effected on Officer Robinson and Unit Manager Clifford Brown.
The United States Marshal shall mail a copy of the amended
complaint, (doc. no. 14), and this Order by first-class mail
and request that the defendants waive formal service of the
summons. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(d). Individual defendants have a duty
to avoid unnecessary costs of serving the summons, and if a
defendant fails to comply with the request for waiver, the
defendant must bear the costs of personal service unless good
cause can be shown for failure to return the waiver.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(d)(2). A defendant whose return of the waiver
is timely does not have to answer the complaint until sixty
days after the date the Marshal mails the request for waiver.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(d)(3). However, service must be effected
within ninety days of the date of this Order, and the failure
to do so may result in the dismissal of any unserved
defendant or the entire case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). Plaintiff is
responsible for providing sufficient information for the
Marshal to identify and locate the defendant to effect
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall serve upon
Defendants, or upon their defense attorney if appearance has
been entered by counsel, a copy of every further pleading or
other document submitted to the Court. Plaintiff shall
include with the papers to be filed a certificate stating the
date a true and correct copy of any document was mailed to
the defendants or their counsel. Fed.R.Civ.P. 5; Loc. R. 5.1.
Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the name
of the court, the title of the action, and the file number.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). Any paper received by a District Judge ...