United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EFPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
incarcerated at Augusta State Medical Prison
(“ASMP”) in Grovetown, Georgia, brought the
above-captioned case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis
(“IFP”), Plaintiff's complaint must be
screened to protect potential defendants. Phillips v.
Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984);
Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 Fed.Appx. 733, 736 (11th Cir.
2006) (per curiam).
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names as Defendants: (1) Latasha Harris, Unit Manager; and
(2) Warden Edward Pailben. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 4.) Taking all
of Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
October 2018, prison officials placed Plaintiff in handcuffs
while he was on suicide watch for attempting to flood his
cell. (Id. at 5.) Prison officials attempted to
retrieve the handcuffs, but Plaintiff refused. (Id.)
In response, Unit Manager Harris instructed Cert Team Officer
Smith to spray Plaintiff with an unspecified substance.
(Id.) Plaintiff's hands were still behind his
back while Officer Smith sprayed Plaintiff. (Id.)
Plaintiff states he was not “acting up at the
the incident where Plaintiff was sprayed, Plaintiff stayed in
Cell 313 for a month without running water. (Id.)
His toilet was full of excrement, and Officer Taylor would
have to pour a bucket full of water to flush the toilet.
(Id.) Plaintiff states Unit Manager Harris caused
this because she would not let Plaintiff have running water.
(Id.) Plaintiff further states he was left in a cell
without a mattress for a month because Unit Manager Harris
would not let Plaintiff have one. (Id.) Plaintiff
seeks $30, 000 in compensatory damages and $30, 000 in
punitive damages from each Defendant. (Id. at 6.)
Legal Standard for Screening
complaint or any portion thereof may be dismissed if it is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune to such relief. See 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). A claim is
frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 327 (1989). “Failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as
dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6).” Wilkerson v. H & S, Inc., 366
Fed.Appx. 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v.
Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the complaint must
“state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). That is,
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While Rule 8(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not require detailed
factual allegations, “it demands more than an
unadorned, the defendant unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A
complaint is insufficient if it “offers ‘labels
and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action, '” or if it
“tenders ‘naked assertions' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'” Id.
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557). In short,
the complaint must provide a “‘plain
statement' possess[ing] enough heft to ‘sho[w] that
the pleader is entitled to relief.'”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
the court affords a liberal construction to a pro se
litigant's pleadings, holding them to a more lenient
standard than those drafted by an attorney. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, this liberal
construction does not mean that the court has a duty to
re-write the complaint. Snow v. DirecTV, Inc., 450
F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim Against Warden Edward
Eleventh Circuit has held that a district court properly
dismisses a defendant where a plaintiff fails to state any
allegations that associate the defendant with the purported
constitutional violation. Douglas v. Yates, 535 F.3d
1316, 1321-22 (11th Cir. 2008) (“While we do not
require technical niceties in pleading, we must demand that
the complaint state with some minimal particularity how overt
acts of the defendant caused a legal wrong.”).
Plaintiff alleges no facts regarding Warden Edward ...