Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Vega v. Johns

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

July 11, 2019

NICHOLAS GARCIA VEGA, Plaintiff,
v.
TRACY JOHNS, Defendant.

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff filed this action while incarcerated at D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Folkston, Georgia, pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), in order to challenge certain conditions of his confinement. Doc. 1. For the reasons below, I RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS Plaintiff's 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 pauperis.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff seeks relief for an injury he sustained while working in the kitchen's grill room at D. Ray James Correctional Facility. Doc. 1 at 4-8. Plaintiff alleges that at around 5:00 a.m. on July 12, 2018, he was making biscuits and another worker instructed him to check on a pot containing hot butter. Id. When Plaintiff did so, he saw that the butter pot was on fire. Id. Plaintiff then threw water “into the pot to avoid the fire.” Id. The butter “immediately” exploded, covering Plaintiff's face with hot butter. Id. Plaintiff suffered burns on his face, eyes, head, and arms. Id.

         Plaintiff did not receive medical attention immediately. Id. He was not allowed to go to medical until around 8:30 a.m., after breakfast was prepared. Id. He writes that the nurse “cured” his injuries, but the prison sent him to see a specialist for the burns on his eyes. Id. He contends that his vision in his left eye will continue to degrade. Id. He also still has “marks” on his face, arms, and head. Id.

         Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that he did not “receive an education program about how to handle food and . . . kitchen tools.” Id. However, after he was injured, kitchen workers received a training program on handling “kitchen implements.” Id. He also writes that, “[d]ue to this incident, one of the institution supervisor[s] was fired.” Id. As relief, Plaintiff seeks $500, 000 in damages for the injury to his eyes, his sight, and his body. Id.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Plaintiff seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 his assets and 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 fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii).

         When reviewing a complaint on an application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court is guided by the instructions for pleading contained in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 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. 2001)).

         Whether 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)).

         In its 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 without counsel.”).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Plaintiff's Bivens Claim

         “Bivens established that the victims of a constitutional violation by a federal agent have a right to recover damages against the official in federal court despite the absence of any statute conferring such a right.” Carlson v. Green, 446 U.S. 14, 18 (1980); see also Corr. Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.