United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
currently incarcerated at Hays State Prison in Trion,
Georgia, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Complaint contesting
certain events occurring during his confinement at Smith
State Prison in Glennville, Georgia. Doc. 1. The Court now
screens Plaintiff's Complaint and supplements, as
directed by 28 U.S.C. §1915A. For the following reasons,
I find that Plaintiff makes non-frivolous allegations that
Defendants West, Erin, and Clarke were deliberately
indifferent to a known danger to Plaintiff and that
Defendants McIntosh and Whitley were deliberately indifferent
to his medical needs. I DIRECT the United
States Marshal to serve a copy of Plaintiff's Complaint
and Supplement, docs. 1, 22, and this Order on Defendants. I
also DIRECT the Clerk of Court to add Nurse
McIntosh and Lieutenant Whitley as Defendants upon the docket
and record of this case. I DENY as moot
Plaintiff's Motion for Continuance, doc. 16, and
GRANT Plaintiff's Motion to Amend, doc.
18, and Motions for Leave to File Supplemental Complaints,
docs. 19, 22. I further RECOMMEND the Court
GRANT Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Mr.
Smith from this case, doc. 20, and DISMISS
Defendant Smith from this action without
April 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint alleging that he
was assaulted on January 14, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m.
and beaten unconscious by several gang members while
incarcerated at Smith State Prison. Doc. 1 at 6. Plaintiff
alleges that in November 2017, he wrote to Defendant West,
his Unit Manager, and Defendants Smith, Erin, and Clark, all
Deputy Wardens. Id. at 5. Plaintiff claims that he
informed Defendants that if he was placed in general
population there would likely be a conflict due to his
cousin, who was also apparently Plaintiff's codefendant
in a criminal case, being housed at Smith State Prison.
Id. However, Defendants allegedly took no action to
protect Plaintiff, and he was subsequently assaulted by
various gang members. Id. Plaintiff alleges that the
assault left him with two swollen eyes and multiple fractures
to his face. Id. at 10. Plaintiff alleges that,
after the assault, Lieutenant Whitfield took Plaintiff's
statement in Tier II, but that Plaintiff did not receive
medical treatment until approximately 15 hours later when he
was taken to the hospital. Id.
alleges that Director of Nursing McIntosh is liable for the
delay in his medical treatment for “not having here
medical staff on post.” Id. at 8. Plaintiff
further alleges that Defendants West, Smith, Erin, and Clark
are liable for exhibiting deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's safety and failing to protect him from the
threat posed by other inmates. Id. at 8-9. Plaintiff
requests nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages.
Id. at 11.
subsequently filed a Motion for a Continuance, asking the
Court to delay proceedings, as he had been transferred to
Valdosta State Prison and had lost access to his “legal
materials and court documents at Smith State Prison.”
Doc. 16. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, doc. 18, and
two Motions to File Supplemental Complaints, docs. 19, 22. In
his final proposed supplement, Plaintiff appears to allege a
claim against Lieutenant Whitfield for the delay in obtaining
medical treatment for Plaintiff. Doc. 22 at 5. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that Lieutenant Whitfield left Plaintiff in
the shower for several hours before taking him to a Tier II
cell. Id. Plaintiff requests that the Court
disregard his previous two proposed amendments. Doc. 22-1.
Plaintiff also filed a motion asking the Court to dismiss
Defendant Smith from this case. Doc. 20.
brings this action in forma pauperis. 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 pleading 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. 2001)).
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. . .
.”) (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 Operative Complaint and Allegations
filed his Amended Complaint and two Motions to File
Supplemental Complaints. Plaintiff may amend his Complaint
once as a matter of right because no Defendants have been
served in this case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). The Court,
accordingly, GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion
to Amend. Doc. 18. Additional amendments require Plaintiff to
obtain leave from the Court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Because
no party has been served in this case, the Court finds that
it is in the interests of justice to allow Plaintiff to
supplement his Complaint and GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to File Supplemental
Complaints. Docs. 19, 22. Plaintiff requests in his final
proposed Supplemental Complaint that the Court not ...