United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
while incarcerated at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility
in Folkston, Georgia (“D. Ray James”), filed this
action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of
Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), in
order to challenge certain conditions of his confinement.
Doc. 1. After a thorough and careful review of the docket, I
RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint, doc. 1, DIRECT
the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and
enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal, and
DENY Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
pauperis on appeal.
challenges alleged deficiencies in the medical care he
received while incarcerated at the D. Ray James Correctional
Institution in Folkston, Georgia. Doc. 1. Plaintiff struggles
with basic mobility due to an injury to the tendons and
ligaments in his left foot. Doc. 1-1. When Plaintiff arrived
at D. Ray James, he used an orthopedic boot to help him walk.
Id. Though Plaintiff used a similar boot while
incarcerated in an Alabama correctional institution, upon his
arrival at D. Ray James, Dr. Peter Riggs removed the boot and
provided Plaintiff crutches as an alternative. Id.
Around two or three months later, Dr. Riggs took the crutches
back from Plaintiff, telling Plaintiff that he did not
require the crutches to walk. Id. Plaintiff
requested a walking stick, citing his medical history and
records which discussed his disability. Id. Dr.
Riggs initially provided Plaintiff with a walking stick but
two months later removed the walking stick, leaving Plaintiff
with no other device to assist his mobility. Id. For
over a week, Plaintiff attempted to walk without support,
moving only with assistance from other inmates or by
“clinging [to] the perimeter fence.” Id.
April 24, 2018, Plaintiff was sitting at a chair next to the
phone. Doc. 1 at 4-5. When he stood up to go to bed, he fell.
Id. He could not get up until other inmates assisted
him. Id. According to Plaintiff, the fall occurred
“because [he] didn't have a walking stick because
the medical doctor [refused] to give” it back to him.
Id. Plaintiff sustained injuries from the fall,
including bruising and a “hard pain” in his ribs.
staff brought Plaintiff to the medical unit the same day as
his fall, but Plaintiff did not receive medical assistance at
that time. Doc. 1 at 4-5. Rather, Plaintiff's appointment
with medical staff occurred three days later. Id.
While Plaintiff does not describe the treatment provided at
that appointment, at some point, Plaintiff submitted a
medical request for another walking stick. Doc. 1-1. About a
month after submitting this request, he met with Dr. Rick
Thomas. Id. Dr. Thomas provided Plaintiff with a
walking stick. Id. Since that appointment, the
prison has provided Plaintiff with a walking stick.
Id. However, Plaintiff still experiences
“continuous pain” in his back from his fall. Doc.
1 at 5.
Plaintiff alleges that he experienced an adverse reaction to
a pill the medical staff prescribed him upon his arrival at
D. Ray James. Doc. 1-1. After taking the pill for the first
time, Plaintiff experienced a loss of breath. Id.
Defendants sent Plaintiff to a doctor who connected Plaintiff
to an artificial ventilator. Id. The second time
Plaintiff took the pill, he “felt a lack of sight
(vision) [in his] eyes” and “couldn't
speak.” Id. He has since refused to take this
pill. Id. However, Plaintiff's vision has
continued to worsen. Id. Plaintiff “sent
copouts” to see an eye doctor, but this treatment has
not been provided. Id.
November 28, 2018, Plaintiff filed this action against
Defendant Jones, the prison's warden, in his official
capacity only. Doc. 1 at 2. As relief, Plaintiff seeks $500,
000 in damages for his continued loss of vision and his back
pain. Doc. 1 at 5.
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). 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. §
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 ...