United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
LISA GODBEY WOOD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
an independent and de novo review of the entire record, the
undersigned adopts in part and rejects in part the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation. Dkt. No. 11. On
January 11, 2019, the Magistrate Judge ordered service on one
named Defendant but recommended the Court dismiss any claims
against the other two named Defendants. On January 28, 2019,
Plaintiff objected to this Report and asserted additional
facts which now make his allegations against Warden Deal
non-frivolous. The Court, therefore, ORDERS
the United States Marshal to serve a copy of Plaintiff's
Complaint, dkt.no. 1, the Court's January 11,
2019 Order, dkt. no. 11, Objections, dkt. no. 12, and a copy
of this Order upon Defendant Deal without prepayment of
costs. However, for the reasons the Magistrate Judge stated,
the Court DISMISSES all claims against
Defendant Dozier, as well as all of Plaintiff's claims
against Defendants in their official capacities. The Court
DENIES Plaintiff in fozma pauperis
status on appeal as to these dismissed claims.
appears to object to the entirety of the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation, but many of his
Objections are not responsive to the Report and
Recommendation. To begin, Plaintiff attempted to assert
claims against three Defendants in both their individual and
official capacities. Dkt. No. 1, p. 5. The Magistrate Judge
ordered service only as to one of these Defendants, CO. II
Hadden, and only in her individual capacity. Dkt. No. 11, p.
8. The Magistrate Judge correctly stated that Plaintiff could
not sustain a claim against any Defendants in their official
capacities because of sovereign immunity. Will v. Mich.
Pep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). The
Magistrate Judge additionally recommended the Court dismiss
claims against Defendants Dozier and Deal, because Plaintiff
did not make any factual allegations about their conduct but
merely named them as Defendants. Dkt. No. 11, p. 4.
primary objection is that prison officials are not entitled
to either qualified or absolute immunity when they violate
clearly established law. Dkt. No. 12, p. 2. This is correct,
but only as to claims asserted against prison officials in
their individual capacities. As the Magistrate Judge
explained, suits against state officers in their official
capacities are, in effect, suits against the state itself.
Will, 491 U.S. at 71. Suits against states are
barred by-sovereign immunity unless the state consents to
suit. Free v. Granger, 887 F.2d 1552, 1557 (11th
Cir. 1989). Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge correctly
recommended that Plaintiff s claims against all Defendants in
their official capacities be dismissed.
to Plaintiff's claims against Defendants in their
individual capacities, the Magistrate Judge did not recommend
that those claims be dismissed on grounds of immunity. He
instead recommended the claims against Defendants Dozier and
Deal be dismissed because Plaintiff did not make any factual
allegations concerning actions taken by those two Defendants.
Dkt. No. 11, pp. 4-5. However, in his Objections, Plaintiff
asserts new facts regarding Defendant Deal. Specifically, he
asserts that Defendant Deal was aware of "multiple
complaints from inmates of officer CO. II Hadden (sic)
violent behavior." Dkt. No. 12, p. 2. Plaintiff does
not, however, make any similar allegations regarding
service has yet to be executed, Plaintiff may still file an
amendment as a matter of course. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1).
Construing Plaintiff's Objections as an amendment,
Plaintiff claims that Defendant Deal was aware of complaints
of Defendant Hadden's violent behavior but did nothing to
stop this behavior. "The Eighth Amendment prohibits
deliberate indifference to an inmate's health or
safety." Smith v. Owens, 625 Fed.Appx. 924, 927
(11th Cir. 2015) (citing Hope v. Pelzer, 539 U.S.
730, 737-38 (2002)). However, a plaintiff must plead more
than mere negligence to state a claim for an Eighth Amendment
violation. Smalls v. Berrios, Case No: 3:06cv95,
2007 WL 1827465 at *5 (N.D. Fla. June 25, 2007). A plaintiff
must instead show: (1) an objective, serious risk of physical
harm; (2) a subjective, deliberate indifference by defendant
to that risk; and (3) causation. Id. at *4;
Alexander v. Barefield, Case No: 5:06cv22, 2007 WL
1655383 at*3-4 (N.D. Fla. June 7, 2007). The second,
subjective component is met where a defendant disregards a
known, clear risk to a prisoner's safety. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835-37 (1994).
considering Plaintiff's additional allegations in his
Objections, Plaintiff's claim for deliberate indifference
against Defendant Deal is not subject to dismissal at this
stage of review. On the other hand, Plaintiff has not made
any factual allegations against Defendant Dozier and cannot
assert a claim against him.
foregoing reasons, the Court ADOPTS in part
and REJECTS in part the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation. Dkt. No. 11.
The Court ORDERS the United States Marshal to serve a copy of
Plaintiffs Complaint, dkt. no. 1, the January 11, 2019 Order,
dkt. no. 11, Objections, dkt. no. 12, and a copy of this
Order upon Defendant Deal without prepayment of costs. For
the reasons the Magistrate Judge stated, the Court DISMISSES
all claims against Defendant Dozier, as well as
all of Plaintiffs claims against Defendants