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Conley v. Brown

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

September 12, 2019

MARQUAVIOUS CONLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CLIFFORD BROWN, Unit Manager, and BENJAMIN ROBINSON, Defendants.

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BRIAN K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, brought this case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, concerning events allegedly occurring at August State Medical Prison (“ASMP”) in Grovetown, Georgia. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis (“IFP”). Before the Court is Defendants' pre-answer motion to dismiss, (doc. no. 29), which the Court REPORTS and RECOMMENDS be GRANTED and this case DISMISSED and CLOSED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges the following facts, which must be taken as true for purposes of the motion to dismiss.

         On November 6, 2017, Plaintiff was housed in the Crisis Special Unit (“CSU”) at ASMP. (Doc. no. 14, p. 5.) Around 8:00 a.m. on that day, Plaintiff was verbally threatened through his cell door by an unknown inmate working in the CSU. (Id.) The unit worker told Plaintiff he was going to kill him the first chance he got. (Id.) After being threatened, Plaintiff immediately went to his cell door to inform Officer Robinson. (Id. at 12.) Plaintiff shouted for Officer Robinson, which prompted the unit worker to come back to Plaintiff's cell and call him a snitch. (Id.) Plaintiff then asked the unit worker to leave him alone. (Id.) While speaking to the unit worker, Plaintiff noticed Officer Robinson looking in his direction, and when Officer Robinson and Plaintiff made eye contact, Officer Robinson immediately looked away and disregarded Plaintiff's shouts for help. (Id.) The unit worker then walked away. (Id.)

         A little while later, Officer Robinson came to Plaintiff's cell and asked if he wanted to see the doctor. (Id.) At this time, Plaintiff told Officer Robinson about the threats made by the unit worker. (Id.) Plaintiff begged Officer Robinson to tell Unit Manager Clifford Brown and Chief of Security Captain Collier about the threats. (Id.) Officer Robinson said he would. (Id.) Plaintiff next asked to not leave his cell until his life was not in danger, to which Officer Robinson did not respond and walked away. (Id.)

         Soon after this, Officer Robinson returned, placed Plaintiff in handcuffs, and escorted him out of his cell. (Id. at 13.) While being handcuffed, Plaintiff asked where the unit worker was and if anything had been done about the threats. (Id.) Officer Robinson told Plaintiff not to worry and that he was ok. (Id.) Officer Robinson escorted Plaintiff to the doctor and left Plaintiff alone to wait with his hands still cuffed. (Id.) At this time, Plaintiff was approached by the unit worker. (Id.) The unit worker told Plaintiff he should kill him now, but he walked off. (Id.) Then, Officer Robinson returned and took Plaintiff to the nurse to check his vital signs. (Id.) Plaintiff informed Officer Robinson about what the unit worker said, to which Officer Robinson replied “you ain't [sic] hurt yet, you'll be ok.” (Id. at 14.) Officer Robinson also said he spoke to Unit Manager Brown who said he would handle it. (Id.)

         While being escorted back to his cell by Officer Robinson, Plaintiff was attacked by the unit worker. (Id.) During the attack, Officer Robinson ran away and left Plaintiff alone. (Id.) Plaintiff was stabbed fifteen times. (Id.) Eventually, a nurse came to Plaintiff's aid and tried to pull the unit worker off Plaintiff by hitting the unit worker with a chair. (Id.) About eight minutes later, Officer Robinson came back and, along with the nurse, removed the unit worker from Plaintiff. (Id.) Also arriving with Officer Robinson, the Corrections Emergency Response Team (“CERT”) removed the unit worker from the area. (Id.)

         After the attack, Plaintiff overheard Unit Manager Brown tell Warden Wilkes he was notified of the threat but he did not think of it as serious. (Id. at 15.) Plaintiff was taken to the local hospital for treatment of his wounds. (Id.) In addition to multiple stab wounds receiving stitches, Plaintiff suffered from a broken nose and collar bone. (Id.) After two months of treatment, Plaintiff's stitches were removed, and he has not received any follow up treatment. (Id.) Plaintiff also suffers from emotional distress and nightmares from the attack. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges all Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety. He seeks a declaratory judgment that his constitutional rights were violated, $100, 000 in compensatory damages from each Defendant, an additional $50, 000 in compensatory damages from Warden Wilkes and Officer Robinson, $25, 000 in punitive damages from Officer Robinson and Unit Manager Brown, and $15, 000 in punitive damages from Warden Wilkes. (Id. at 18.)

         B. Grievance and Procedural History

         Attached to their motion to dismiss, Defendants provided the relevant grievance records concerning Plaintiff's allegations. (Doc. nos. 29-4, 29-5; see also Colon Decl., doc. no. 29-2, ¶¶ 11-14.) On January 9, 2018, Plaintiff filed grievance number 258418, stating on November 6, 2017, he was stabbed by inmate “N. Wade” while restrained and waiting to have his vitals checked after a medical visit. (Doc. no. 29-4, p. 2.) On January 18, 2018, Warden Philbin rejected Plaintiff's grievance as untimely. (Id.) There is no record of an appeal. On April 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed grievance number 263564 about the alleged November 6, 2017 stabbing, stating he was assaulted while in restraints by “Nicholas Wade” and standard operating procedure was violated by prison officials allowing another inmate around Plaintiff while he was restrained. (Doc. no. 29-5, pp. 2-3.) On April 11, 2018, Warden Philbin rejected Plaintiff's grievance as untimely, and on July 19, 2018, Plaintiff's appeal of Warden Philbin's rejection was denied because the original grievance was untimely. (Id.)

         On August 5, 2019, Defendants filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss. (Doc. no. 29.) Defendants argue Plaintiff failed to properly exhaust administrative remedies concerning his remaining claims. (Id.) On August 22, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to stay, in which he mainly responds to Defendants' motion to dismiss by restating many of the allegations in his amended complaint and ...


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