United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while
incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia,
to challenge certain conditions of his confinement. Doc. 1.
For the reasons below, I RECOMMEND the Court
DISMISS Plaintiffs Complaint, DIRECT the
Clerk of Court to enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal
and CLOSE this case, and
DENY Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma
pauper is I also DENY as moot
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis, doc. 2, and his Motion to Appoint Counsel,
4, 2018, Defendant Maurice Beavers, another inmate at Georgia
State Prison, entered Plaintiff's cell and attacked
Plaintiff. Doc. 1 at 4-5. Defendant Beavers eventually left
but returned around 15 minutes later and continued to attack
Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff believes Defendant Beavers
attacked him because of Plaintiff's sexual orientation.
Id. at 6. Plaintiff reported the incident to a
prison officer the night it occurred, and Plaintiff received
medical treatment. Id. at 4-5. As a consequence of
the attack, Plaintiff sustained facial injuries, including a
swollen eye, a busted lip, and a fractured nose. Id.
at 6. Though the injuries largely healed, Plaintiff continues
to experience difficulty breathing out of his nose and blurry
vision in his left eye. Id. After Plaintiff received
medical treatment, prison officials attempted to take
Plaintiff back to the same dorm where he was first attacked.
Id. at 5. Plaintiff refused to go, and, as a
consequence, prison officials placed him in Tier II
administrative segregation for 30 days. Id.
alleges that Defendants failed to protect him from the
assault by Defendant Beavers. Id. at 4. He brings
this action against Defendant Beavers and three other
Defendants: Defendant Allen, the warden at Georgia State
Prison; Defendant Adams, the prison's assistant warden;
and Defendant Jackson, a unit manager at the prison.
Id. at 2-3. As relief, Plaintiff requests $35, 000
in compensatory damages and $10, 000 in punitive damages.
Id. at 6.
is bringing this action in forma pauperis. Under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), the Court may authorize the filing
of a civil lawsuit without the prepayment of fees if the
plaintiff submits an affidavit that includes a statement of
all of his assets, shows an inability to pay the filing fee,
and also includes a statement of the nature of the action
which shows that he is entitled to redress. Even if the
plaintiff proves indigence, the Court must dismiss the action
if it is frivolous, malicious, or if it fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii). Additionally, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a complaint in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity.
Upon such screening, the Court must dismiss a complaint, or
any portion thereof, that is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or which
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Court looks to the instructions for pleadings contained in
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when reviewing a
complaint on an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (“A pleading
that states a claim for relief must contain [among other
things] . . . a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 10 (requiring that claims be set forth in
numbered paragraphs, each limited to a single set of
circumstances). Further, a claim is frivolous under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) “if it is ‘without arguable
merit either in law or fact.'” Napier v.
Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528, 531 (11th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Bilal v. Driver, 251 F.3d 1346, 1349 (11th Cir.
a complaint fails to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable
to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). Thompson v. Rundle, 393 Fed.Appx. 675, 678
(11th Cir. 2010). Under that standard, this Court must
determine whether the complaint contains “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). A plaintiff must assert “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not” suffice. Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. Section 1915 also “accords judges not
only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual
power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual
allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual
contentions are clearly baseless.” Bilal, 251
F.3d at 1349 (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 327 (1989)).
analysis, the Court will abide by the long-standing principle
that the pleadings of unrepresented parties are held to a
less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys and,
therefore, must be liberally construed. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Boxer X v.
Harris, 437 F.3d 1107, 1110 (11th Cir. 2006)
(“Pro se pleadings are held to a less
stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys . . .
.”) (emphasis omitted) (quoting Hughes v.
Lott, 350 F.3d 1157, 1160 (11th Cir. 2003)). However,
Plaintiff's unrepresented status will not excuse mistakes
regarding procedural rules. McNeil v. United States,
508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) (“We have never suggested that
procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be
interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed
Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment Claim for Failure to
Eighth Amendment “imposes a duty on prison
officials” to “take reasonable measures to
guarantee the safety of the inmates.” Caldwell v.
Warden, 748 F.3d 1090, 1099- 1100 (11th Cir. 2014).
Prison officials are not held liable for every attack by one
inmate upon another, nor are they guarantors of a
prisoner's safety. Purcell ex rel. Estate of Morgan
v. Toombs County, 400 F.3d 1313, 1319 (11th Cir. 2005)
(observing that while “[p]rison officials have a duty .
. . to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other
prisoners[, ]” constitutional liability does not flow
from “every injury suffered by one prisoner at the
hands of another” (citing Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994))); Popham v. City of
Talladega, 908 F.2d 1561, 1564 (11th Cir. 1990);
Zatler v. Wainwright, 802 F.2d 397, 400 (11th Cir.
1986). Rather, “[t]o show a violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights, [p]laintiff[s] “must produce
sufficient evidence of (1) a substantial risk of serious
harm; (2) the defendant[']s deliberate indifference to
that risk; and (3) causation.'” Smith v.
Reg'l Dir. of Fla. Dep't of Corr., 368 Fed.Appx.
9, 14 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Purcell, 400 F.3d at
Court assesses the first element-a substantial risk of
serious harm-under an objective standard. Caldwell,
748 F.3d at 1099. “[A]n excessive risk of
inmate-on-inmate violence at a jail creates a substantial
risk of serious harm.” Purcell, 400 F.3d at
1320. “A prisoner has a right . . . to be reasonably
protected from constant threat of violence . . . from his
fellow inmates.” Id. at 1320-21 (citing
Woodhous v. Virginia, 487 F.2d 889, 890 (4th Cir.
1973)). However, “[w]hether a substantial risk of
serious harm exists . . . involves a legal rule that takes
form through its application to facts.” Id. at
1320. The objective component requires a plaintiff to show