United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
CHRISTOPHER J. PARKER, Plaintiff,
HUBERT CORPENING, ET AL., Defendants.
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis. (Doc. No. 6).
se Plaintiff Christopher Parker has filed a civil rights
suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101
et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C.
§ 791 et seq., and North Carolina negligence,
against Marion Correctional Institution Superintendent Hubert
Corpening and Staff Psychologist Valerie A. Carswell in their
individual and official capacities.
construing the Complaint and accepting the allegations as
true, Plaintiff has a history of mental health issues dating
back to 1998. A psychologist at Scotland C.I. re-diagnosed
him with depressive disorder which caused him to be a threat
to himself and others. (Doc. No. 1 at 5-6). That psychologist
referred Plaintiff to a psychiatrist in Raleigh who
prescribed medicine and said Plaintiff would be shipped to an
institution where he would start treatment for his mental
illness and receive medication. (Doc. No. 1 at 11). Plaintiff
was told all his paperwork and files would be shipped along
was transferred to Marion C.I. where Defendants denied him
“any help or his medications” after Plaintiff
repeatedly informed Defendants of his diagnosis and need for
treatment. (Doc. No. 1 at 6). After Plaintiff informed
Defendants of his condition, he was still housed around
general population inmates who are not mentally ill.
Plaintiff began experiencing frustration, confusion, and
difficulty distinguishing reality from fiction. As a result,
he cut himself with razorblades, set fires to burn his own
skin, and ate feces and smeared it on his body and cell.
(Doc. No. 1 at 6).
informed Defendants of his need for treatment on numerous
occasions including a grievance dated October 6, 2014. On
December 23, 2014, the third-step grievance response agreed
that Petitioner was prescribed mental health medications.
(Doc. No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff made this information available
to Carswell and Corpening, who again denied him treatment and
medication. By this time, Plaintiff had gone 16 months
without his medication or any treatment for his mental
January 11, 2015, Plaintiff received a disciplinary incident
report. Defendant Carswell wrote a statement saying that she
reviewed Plaintiff and found no action where medications were
prescribed despite Plaintiff having informed her of the
grievance disposition to the contrary. (Doc. No. 1 at 13).
Carswell insisted that Plaintiff does not need the previously
prescribed medications that he should be “accountable
for all his actions [because] his mental health illness is no
excuse.” (Doc. No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff complains that
Defendants' actions were deliberately indifferent and
seeks unspecified injunctive relief, declaratory judgment,
and compensatory and punitive damages. (Doc. No. 1 at 4-5).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
“court shall dismiss [a prisoner's] case at any
time if the court determines that ... the action or appeal
... fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). A
complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a
claim “unless ‘after accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and
drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in
the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the
plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his
claim entitling him to relief.'” Veney v.
Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 730 (4th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th
Cir. 1999)). In its frivolity review, a court must determine
whether the Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal
theory or is founded upon clearly baseless factual
contentions, such as fantastic or delusional scenarios.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989).
pro se complaint must be construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see
also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738 (4th
Cir. 2009) (“Liberal construction of the pleadings is
particularly appropriate where … there is a pro se
complaint raising civil rights issues.”). However, the
liberal construction requirement will not permit a district
court to ignore a clear failure to allege facts in his
complaint which set forth a claim that is cognizable under
federal law. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901
F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). A pro se complaint must
still contain sufficient facts “to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level” and “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570
(2007); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)
(the Twombly plausibility standard applies to all
federal civil complaints including those filed under §
1983). This “plausibility standard requires a plaintiff
to demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully.” Francis v. Giacomelli,
588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
omitted). He must articulate facts that, when accepted as
true, demonstrate he has stated a claim entitling him to
Deliberate Indifference to a ...