United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
T. TREADWELL, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
conducting the frivolity screening required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a), United States Magistrate Judge Charles H.
Weigle recommends dismissing Plaintiff’s due process
claims concerning the prison grievance system, dismissing
Defendant Greg Dozier, and transferring the action to the
Southern District of Georgia. Doc. 7. He also recommends
denying the Plaintiff’s motion for recusal and motion
for appointment of counsel (Doc. 4). Id. The
Plaintiff has objected to the Recommendation. Doc. 8.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court has
considered the Plaintiff’s objections and made a de
novo determination of the portions of the Recommendation to
which he objects. The Recommendation (Doc. 7), is
ADOPTED in part AND REJECTED in part.
Plaintiff’s claims in this case arise from his
incarceration at Georgia State Prison (“GSP”)
from August 1, 2017 through January 2018. Doc. 1. GSP is
located in Tattnall County, Georgia, which is in the Southern
District of Georgia. The Plaintiff states that when he was
previously incarcerated at Johnson State Prison, he provided
information to prison officials and others concerning illegal
cell phone activity at that facility. Id. at 12. As
a result, the Plaintiff “was beaten and raped”
and therefore “required an open barracks PREA approved
dorm with 24 hour video surveillance.” Id. The
Plaintiff states he developed “serious mental health
issues” and suffered significant physical injuries in
the attack at Johnson State Prison, which require him to use
adult diapers, a back brace, and a cane. Id.
Plaintiff states that he informed prison officials at GSP of
his housing, medical, and mental health needs upon his
arrival, but prison officials either delayed responding to
his inquiries or refused assistance altogether. Instead of
being placed in an open, PREA-approved barracks, the
Plaintiff states he was placed in a two-man cell without
certain features to ensure his safety, such as sprinklers,
video cameras, or emergency call buttons. Id. at 15.
The Plaintiff contends his placement exacerbated his mental
health conditions, including “post-traumatic stress,
post-rape syndrome, obsessive compulsive, anxiety and
bi-polar disorder.” Id. at 13. Additionally,
the Plaintiff states that he was not permitted to leave the
cell to bathe after he soiled his adult diapers at night,
which caused him to contract three staph infections in a
short period of time. Id. The Plaintiff alleges that
GSP prison officials also failed to accommodate his need for
a shower chair to assist him in the shower and required him
to walk up and down stairs despite having a “lower
range” profile. Id. at 14. As a result, the
Plaintiff alleges he fell and injured himself on several
occasions, and GSP officials failed to properly treat the
resulting injuries. Id.
Plaintiff also contends that various GSP officials interfered
with his grievances, threatened him to “keep [his]
mouth shut, ” and retaliated against him when he
complained to them about his circumstances. See Id .
Plaintiff primarily names GSP officials as Defendants in this
case: Warden Allen; Deputy Warden of Care and Treatment
Pinero; Deputy Warden of Security Bobbett; Medical Director
Sharp; Grievance Coordinator Howard; Chief Counselor and PREA
Coordinator Wilson; PREA Investigator Thomas; and Building
Counselor Bradley. Doc. 1 at 1, 9. But he also names two
officials who are apparently located in Atlanta, Georgia:
Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections
(“GDC”) Greg Dozier and Regional Director Robert
Plaintiff “demand[ed]” that counsel be appointed
and moved to recuse the Magistrate Judge from the case. Doc.
Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing without prejudice the
Plaintiff’s due process claims regarding the
prison’s grievance procedure and Greg Dozier. Doc. 7.
He also recommends denying the Plaintiff’s motions for
recusal and appointment of counsel. Id. Finally, he
recommends transferring the action to the Southern District.
following reasons, the Recommendation ADOPTED in part
AND REJECTED in part.
Recusal of the Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff objects (Doc. 8) to the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation to deny his motion for recusal (Doc. 7 at
1-4). He alleges that Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle
ruled against him in a previous lawsuit: Glenn v. Madison
Cty. Sheriff’s Office, 3:16-cv-8-CDL (M.D. Ga.
Jan. 27, 2016). In that suit, Judge Weigle recommended that
the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment be granted,
and the District Court adopted the Recommendation.
Glenn, 3:16-cv-8-CDL, Docs. 102; 103. Judge
Weigle’s recommendation as to the disposition of the
Plaintiff’s prior case provides no grounds for recusal.
Bolin v. Story, 225 F.3d 1234, 1239 (11th Cir. 2000)
(holding that “expect where pervasive bias is shown, a
judge’s rulings in the same or related case are not
sufficient basis for recusal”).
Plaintiff states that “during the course of [his
previous] lawsuit, [his] mother personally drove to Augusta
to the U.S. District . . . Office to ask Judge Weigle why he
was not doing anything. . . . She got into a shouting
argument with the people at the Office.” Doc. 8 at 2.
The Plaintiff argues that this encounter will cause Judge
Weigle to be biased against him. While it is not clear what
office Plaintiff’s mother visited in Augusta, it is
clear that it was not Judge Weigle’s office. Judge
Weigle does not have an office in Augusta, Georgia. Judge
Weigle presides in the Middle District of Georgia, while
Augusta is located in the Southern District of Georgia. Thus,
his mother’s “shouting argument” in some
office in Augusta provides no grounds for recusal.
Plaintiff also states that he wrote Judge Weigle a letter
“call[ing] him a dirty name, ” and, as a result,
Judge Weigle “threw [his] old case out.”
Id. The Plaintiff states this is proof of the
Magistrate Judge’s bias, and recusal is appropriate
under 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(1), which requires
disqualification when the judge “has a personal bias or
prejudice concerning a party. . . .” In the previous
case, Judge Weigle merely recommended granting the
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment because they
established there was no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Glenn, 3:16-cv-8-CDL, Doc. 102. There is no
indication beyond the Plaintiff’s own unsupported,
conclusory allegations that the Plaintiff’s letter had
anything to do with the disposition of this previous suit.
Likewise, there is no indication beyond the Plaintiff’s
own unsupported, conclusory allegations that Judge Weigle is
biased. The Plaintiff has not established that Judge Weigle
has any personal prejudice that would render him unable to
fairly and impartially consider all of the Plaintiff’s
Court, therefore, accepts and adopts the recommendation
regarding the Plaintiff’s motion for recusal.