United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 Bivens Claim
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 ...